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Assault vs. Aggravated Assault

 Posted on February 06, 2024 in Uncategorized

Texas Violent Crime Defense LawyerThe difference between the penalties for simple and aggravated assault can be severe. However, the line between these two offenses can be a fine one. Often, prosecutors will initially charge aggravated assault in any case where they believe the more serious charge could possibly stick. A skilled Houston, TX, criminal defense attorney can often have an aggravated assault charge reduced to simple assault, either by showing that the evidence does not support the felony charge, or through plea bargaining. If you have been charged with either offense, it is important to take your case very seriously and seek out legal representation promptly. Both charges could result in jail time or other major consequences. 

Understanding the Line Between Simple and Aggravated Assault

Texas criminal law pertaining to assaultive offenses describes two main reasons why an assault might be deemed an aggravated assault. While the law is intended to be objective, there is some room for debate when a prosecutor is trying to prove that an assault was aggravated while a defense lawyer argues that it was not. 


The first reason an assault can be considered aggravated is if the victim suffered serious bodily injury. If the victim could have died without medical treatment, even if they did receive care and survive, their injuries would likely be considered serious enough to sustain an aggravated assault charge. Additionally, suppose the victim lost the long-term use of any body part or was disfigured as a result of the assault. In that case, the assailant will probably be charged with aggravated assault. 


Aggravated assault is also charged when the offender uses or brandishes a deadly weapon. Deadly weapons include, but are not limited to, items like knives, guns, and billy clubs. Generally, nearly any object an assailant picks up and uses or brandishes like a weapon can be considered a deadly weapon as long as the object could in fact cause the victim serious harm. For example, a scarf can be considered a deadly weapon if it is used to choke the victim. A heavy lamp can be deemed a deadly weapon if the offender strikes the victim over the head with it. Although neither of those items would normally be considered weapons at all, they can be treated as such if they are used as weapons or brandished like weapons. 

Contact a Houston, TX, Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you are facing assault or aggravated assault charges, Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. can help you fight back. Our dedicated Harris County criminal defense attorneys will do all we can to see your charges reduced or dismissed. Contact us at 713-229-8333 for a complimentary consultation. 

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