In Texas, aggravated assault occurs when a person “causes serious bodily injury to another or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.” It can occur between spouses during a domestic dispute, or an aggravated assault may occur at the same time as other disorderly conduct.
According to the Texas Penal Code, this crime can lead to a number of consequences, which may include:
- Jail time ranging from 2 to 20 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Anger management counseling
Being found guilty of this offense can lead to consequences aside from criminal sanctions. A few of these may be:
- Inability to quality for student loans
- Loss of employment
- Issuance of a protective order
- Inability to obtain a gun permit
Although the penalties for aggravated assault are very high, there are a number of defenses that can be used. Self-defense is a common one used to mitigate charges of aggravated assault. Some people commit this crime as a result of a threat against their person, in which case duress might be a valuable defense. A defendant’s ability to use one of these defenses normally hinges on having an attorney present during questioning so as not to give incriminating testimony during the early stages of the investigation.