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Houston Domestic Assault Attorney

What is Aggravated Assault?

Assault in Texas requires the defendant to have willfully, intentionally, or recklessly caused bodily injury, made severe threats of bodily harm, or forced unwanted physical contact on a victim. Actually causing serious bodily harm or using a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony, and is charged as aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault can be charged as a first-degree felony in cases where the crime was committed against a government or public official, a security guard, a family member, or a witness. Assault against children, especially in cases where the child suffers serious bodily harm, will more often be charged as first-degree felonies depending on the circumstances.

In Texas, police officers usually have to witness a crime firsthand to place a suspect under arrest. This is not the case with aggravated assault. Any victim reporting a situation that meets the criteria for aggravated assault can result in arrest when officers respond to a call.

Contact knowledgeable felony assault attorney Samuel M. Gardner to learn more about these and how you can defend yourself.

Penalties for Felony Assault

Third-, second-, and first-degree felonies for committing aggravated assault may result in prison time of 2–10 years, 2–20 years, or 5–99 years, respectively. Felony charges may also include a fine up to $10,000, probation, a restraining order, or restitution payments.

Restitution is the practice of ordering the defendant to pay the victim for any monetary expenses related to the assault. Restitution includes court fees, mental health treatment, hospital bills, or recouping the cost of damaged property.

Being convicted of any assault charge, including misdemeanors, means having your firearm privileges revoked. This penalty begins at the conclusion of any prison sentence and lasts up to five years. After the conclusion of the punishment, the defendant is allowed to own a gun in their home but cannot apply for a new gun license.

Legal Defenses for Assault Charges

First, the defendant may be able to argue that he or she did not commit the assault. This is extremely difficult to prove, especially in cases that involve witnesses. Without witnesses, it’s often the responsibility of the prosecution to prove the assault did take place. Sufficient evidence is needed to make a conviction.

Affirmative defenses are different. In this defense, the defendant is admitting fault, but maintains there was a legal reason for committing the assault. If the defendant had good reason to believe the victim was going to cause harm or the victim was stealing the defendant’s property, the defendant may opt for an affirmative defense.

Deferred Action

Sometimes a judge may grant the defendant deferred adjudication on the grounds they plead guilty to aggravated assault charges. Deferred adjudication means the judge will impose certain requirements that need to be met, such as rehabilitation classes or probation periods, and after the requirements are met will impart a sentence. Deferred adjudication usually decreases the crime’s penalty. Failure to meet the requirements of the adjudication results in immediate sentencing by the judge.

Houston felony assault attorney Samuel M. Gardner can review your case and help you determine the best course of action for defense. Call (713) 489-2358 to schedule an appointment.


Take a look at our results.
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury / Injury to Public Servant
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Mistrial / Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Evading Arrest
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Felony Evading Arrest
  • Dismissed Accused of Forgery Government Financial Instrument
  • Dismissed Accused of Injury to Elderly
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of a Controlled Substance 28-200g

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