In many other jurisdictions, assault and battery are treated as two separate offenses. In most cases, battery is defined as causing actual bodily injury to another while assault is threatening another with violence. However, in the state of Texas battery and assault are actually considered to be a single criminal offense.
Assault and battery are normally charged as a misdemeanor in Texas. If certain aggravating factors occurred during the commission of the crime, then the court may instead charge you with aggravated assault and battery. This is a much more serious charge that carries life-altering penalties which could affect you for years to come. If convicted, you could be sent to prison and be required to pay huge court fines. That is why we highly encourage you to seek a skilled and professional criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with aggravated assault or any other violent crime in Texas.
Brownsville Aggravated Assault and Battery Lawyer | Violent Crimes, Cameron County
If you have been arrested of aggravated assault and battery, you have little time to waste. Exercise your right to silence and don’t speak a word to law enforcement until you’ve secured representation from an experienced criminal defense like the lawyers at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . Brownsville aggravated assault lawyer Johnathan Gracia and his legal team have helped hundreds of people fight violent crime accusations including assault, aggravated assault, and unlawful restraint.
Call today at 956-504-2211 to schedule your first consultation with The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . Our lawyers are experienced at handling all types of criminal defense cases and have a track record to prove it. Our offices are located in Brownsville, Texas, but we accept clients throughout all parts of Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County.
- Differences Between Aggravated Assault and Battery
- Definition of Aggravated Assault and Battery in Texas
- Habitual Felony Offender Enhancement
- Additional Resources
What is the Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery?
Historically, assault and battery were considered to be separate distinct crimes. At the time, the crime of battery would require the aggressor to physically harm or strike another person or touch said person in an offensive manner. Assault, on the other hand, would be the threats that occurred prior to the battery. Therefore battery was considered a “completed” assault.
Over time, many modern statutes stopped trying to distinguish between the two crimes. The phrase “assault and battery” became as commonplace as the phrase “salt and pepper.” Texas legislation followed suit and now all cases where a person was threatened with violence or sustained bodily harm from another are referred to as “assault.”
Aggravated Assault and Battery Definition
To be charged with aggravated assault, you must commit assault and cause bodily injury to another person. The crime of assault is defined under the Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, which states a person commits the offense if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
- Cause bodily injury to another person, this includes their spouse
- Threaten another person with imminent bodily injury, this includes their spouse
- Cause physical contact with another person they know or have ample reason to believe that the other person would regard the act as provocative or offensive
Aggravated assault is defined as committing any of the above acts with the additional element of:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another
- Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault
Aggravated Assault Penalty
The penalties for aggravated assault can be found under the Texas Penal Code Section 22.02. Aggravated assault without any enhancements is classified as a second-degree felony. The maximum punishment you can receive for a second-degree felony includes:
- Up to 20 years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
Aggravated assault can be reclassified to a first-degree felony in the following circumstances.
- A deadly weapon was used during the commission of the offense and the victim sustained a serious bodily injury
- The offense was committed by a public servant acting under the servant’s office or employment
- Assault was committed against a public servant or a security officer
- The assault was committed in retaliation against a witness, informant, or the person who filed the criminal complaint
- A firearm was discharged from a motor vehicle at a house, building, or motor vehicle with reckless disregard whether it’s occupied, and the victim sustained serious bodily injury from the firearm
A first-degree felony is punishable by:
- Minimum of 5 years and maximum of 99 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $10,000
Habitual Felony Offender Enhancement
Aggravated assault already carries harsh penalties. However, these consequences may be enhanced if the court finds the defendant is a habitual felony offender. These offenders are subject to Texas’s “three strikes law,” which state a person may face enhanced penalties if they commit a certain felony crime and have one or two prior felony convictions already.
According to the habitual offender’s statute, defendants with two prior felony convictions at a 3rd degree or above may be charged with a first-degree felony for aggravated assault instead of a second-degree felony. If the defendant was charged with a first-degree felony and had prior felony convictions, then their mandatory minimum sentence will be at least 15 years.
Texas Aggravated Assault & Battery Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to take a look at the assault and aggravated assault statutes. Find more information about the elements of assault, admissible defenses, possible enhancements, and more. Access the site to learn more about aggravated assault and aggravated battery in Texas.
Assault and Aggravated Assault Statistics in Texas – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to read their annual crime report for 2019. The information is compiled from all Sheriff’s Offices in Texas. Access the site to look at the data and statistics for aggravated assault in the state of Texas and other violent crimes.
Felony Assault Lawyer in Brownsville, Texas
Were you recently accused of assault or aggravated assault? If so, you don’t have a lot of time to be idle. Get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney today by calling The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. Our Brownsville aggravated assault lawyers are dedicated to what they do. We can build a formidable defense plan and attack these harmful allegations with our firm’s extensive knowledge, skills, and resources. Stay silent with law enforcement and call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. to learn your legal options as soon as possible.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. accepts clients throughout all parts of Brownsville and Cameron County as well as other surrounding counties including Hidalgo County and Willacy County.