A person commits the crime of aggravated assault in Texas if they commit an assault as that term is defined in Texas Penal Code § 22.01 and causes serious bodily injury to another person, but aggravated assault can also be an assault committed with a deadly weapon. The phrase deadly weapon may seem subjective, but the Texas Penal Code lists several kinds of weapons considered deadly weapons.
An assault with a deadly weapon is a felony offense. A prosecutor is going to be seeking a conviction that results in a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines, so alleged offenders need to make sure that they have a strong legal defense.
Denton Assault with a Deadly Weapon Lawyer
Were you or your loved one arrested for assault with a deadly weapon in the greater Denton area? You are going to want to make sure that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy right away. We will assess all of your legal options when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 22.01 establishes that a person commits assault if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse, or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.02, a person commits aggravated assault when they commit an assault that causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or they use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Texas Penal Code §1.07(a)(17) defines a deadly weapon as a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code is dedicated to weapons, and Texas Penal Code § 46.01 specifically defines all of the following weapons:
- Explosive Weapon
- Firearm Silencer
- Location-Restricted Knife
- Machine Gun
- Short-Barrel Firearm
- Armor-Piercing Ammunition
- Hoax Bomb
- Chemical Dispensing Device
- Zip Gun
- Tire Deflation Device
In general, assault with a deadly weapon will be a second-degree felony. The crime will be classified as a first-degree felony when:
- An alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is a family or household member or dating partner.
- The offense is committed by a public servant acting under color of the servant’s office or employment, against a person the alleged offender knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant, in retaliation against or on account of the service of another as a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime, or against a person the alleged offender knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer.
- The alleged offender is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and in discharging the firearm, causes serious bodily injury to any person.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Penalties in Denton
As a felony offense, assault with a deadly weapon carries serious penalties. A person who is convicted of this crime could face either one of the following sentences, depending on how their charge is graded:
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
The less-discussed aspect of a conviction is the long-term consequences, which can be severe with an assault with a deadly weapon conviction. Such marks on a criminal record make it much more difficult for a person to be hired for jobs they apply to or approved for housing.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Defenses in Denton
One of the most common defenses against assault with a deadly weapon concerns a person’s right to defend themselves. In addition to self-defense, defense of other people or property could also be raised as a defense.
In some cases, a person may be able to argue that they were not in possession of a deadly weapon. An alleged offender could also argue that their actions were not intentional.
Denton Assault with a Deadly Weapon Resources
Texas Penal Code | Chapter 46 | Weapons — View the full text of the state laws relating to weapons. Again, Texas Penal Code § 46.01 is the statute that specifically defines each kind of weapon. You can also learn more about unlawful possession or transfer crimes as well as increased penalties for offenses committed within weapon-free school zones.
Penal Code Offenses by Punishment Range — View this document from the Texas Attorney General providing an overview of criminal penalties in Texas. The document notes that Texas Penal Code §12.50 provides that an assault other than a first-degree felony or Class A misdemeanor committed within an area subject to a declaration of disaster or an emergency evacuation order will lead to the punishment being increased to the next highest category. For a Class A misdemeanor assault committed within an area subject to a declaration of disaster or an emergency evacuation order, the minimum punishment will be increased to 180 days.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Assault with a Deadly Weapon Attorney
If you or your loved one has been arrested for an alleged assault with a deadly weapon in Denton or a nearby community, you do not want to fight the criminal charges on your own. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can be by your side the entire time.
We will work closely with you and conduct a complete investigation of your incident to try and get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Our firm can review your case when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.