What is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated Assault in Texas is defined in Penal Code §22.02 as an assault that causes serious bodily injury or an assault where the accused uses or exhibits a deadly weapon. Violence is involved in this crime and prosecutors treat it seriously. Probation is not available for Aggravated Assault, though the Judge can grant Deferred Adjudication if he or she believes that it is in the best interest of the community. Aggravated Assault is a second degree felony.
Aggravated Assault of a Family Member
Penal Code §22.01 makes Assault a 3rd degree felony if bodily injury is caused to a family member and the accused has previously been convicted or received deferred adjudication for Assault of a Family Member. It further recognizes assault of a family member by choking as a 3rd degree felony.
We sometimes see prosecutors “charge up” a simple assault of a family member as a choking felony. This happens when the police interpret any contact around the chest and neck as choking. In reality, choking is strictly defined as “impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.” It is important for a criminal defense attorney to remember this strict definition and seek to lower the charge to a misdemeanor when the offense report or witness statements do not substantiate the felony charge.
Defense of Aggravated Assault
Many of the family assaults reported to police occur in private with only the complainant and accused as witnesses. Police will usually attempt to obtain statements and take photos of any visible injuries. However, ultimately the issue comes down to believability. A police officer isn’t going to make a credibility determination at the scene and almost always arrests the person who did not call 911. This is well known and is often motivation for an assaultive spouse or friend to call 911 as a proactive measure. We have had many cases where our clients caused injury simply by attempting to defend themselves.
Call Houston Criminal Lawyer Ed Chernoff
Don’t allow an unfair prosecution for Aggravated Assault destroy your reputation and subject you to the possibility of prison. Call criminal defense attorney Ed Chernoff today for a free consultation. Call now at 713-222-9141.