If you have been charged with the criminal offense of aggravated assault in Harris county (Houston), or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, including Montgomery (Conroe), Waller (Hempstead), Liberty (City of Liberty), Fort Bend (Richmond), Brazoria (Angleton), Galveston (City of Galveston) or Washington (Brenham), contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free consultation at (281) 546-6428. Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is an experienced trial lawyer who will fight for your rights, freedom and future.
Aggravated Assault in Harris County
According to section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they cause serious bodily injury to another or use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault offense.
What is Bodily Injury and Serious Bodily Injury in Texas?
According to section 1.07(a)(8) of the Texas Penal Code, “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
What is a Deadly Weapon in Texas?
According to case law, three things can qualify as deadly weapon:
- anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or
- anything else that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
There are not many deadly weapons listed as such per se. According to Section 46.01 of the Texas Penal Code, deadly weapons commonly used during the commission of aggravated assault offenses can include any of the following:
- Explosive weapons,
- Illegal Knife (such as a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches; a hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; a dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard; bowie knife; sword; or spear.)
- Machine gun,
- Short-barrel firearm,
- Switchblade knife
- Chemical dispensing device, and
- Zip gun.
Deadly by Manner and Means of Use
Furthermore, according to case law, there is an extensive list of things that can be proven to be deadly by the way the accused used them during the commission of the aggravated assault offense, including:
- Coke bottle
- Leg of a bar stool
- Ax handle
- Motor vehicle
- BB gun
- Wooden stick
- Dumpster in which a baby is discarded
Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code lists the felony punishment for aggravated assault in Harris County.
- a family member or significant other and causes that person serious bodily injury;
- a public servant while the public servant was discharging an official duty
- a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
- in retaliation against a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime.
- in a motor vehicle,
- 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 causes serious bodily injury to any person.
Defenses to Aggravated Assault in Harris County
Occasionally, and in certain circumstances, there may be legal defenses available to aggravated assault. It is important to discuss with an experienced Harris County criminal defense attorney the elements of your criminal charges as that attorney can evaluate your case and advise you as to any appropriate defense.
- Self-Defense. According to Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, a person is permitted to use force, and sometimes deadly force, against the immediate threat of injury or bodily harm.
- Lack of a Deadly Weapon. If your criminal defense attorney can show that a deadly weapon was not present, used or exhibited during the commission of the assault offense, the state prosecutor may reduce or dismiss the aggravated assault charges against you.
- Lack of Intent. Intent is a required culpable mental state to all assault offenses. If your criminal defense lawyer can demonstrate that you did not have the requisite intent to commit assault, the state prosecutor may reduce or dismiss the aggravated assault charges against you.
If you are accused of aggravated assault, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away because he may be able to win your case at the grand jury. Once your felony case has been indicted by the grand jury, this option is no longer available. Attorney James Sullivan has fought and won many felony cases at the grand jury level throughout his almost 20 years of legal practice, including over 20 felony cases in just the past few years. When a case is dismissed (no billed) by the grand jury, the accused has the immediate right to seek an expunction of the felony charge from their record. Sullivan has been able to do this for many of his clients accused of felony offenses.
James G. Sullivan and Associates | Harris County Aggravated Assault Attorney
Contact James G. Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428 for a free initial consultation about your aggravated assault charges in counties throughout southeast Texas, including Harris, Montgomery, Waller, Liberty, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston and Washington. Attorney James Sullivan is an experienced Harris County violent crime attorney who will fight for your rights, freedom and future.