Fort Worth Aggravated Assault Attorney
Very little is required for a simple assault to escalate to the level of aggravated assault. According to Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, an assault is aggravated if it “causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse” or “uses or exhibits a deadly weapon.” In other words, simply brandishing a deadly weapon without using it can lead to aggravated assault charges. Aggravated assault is a felony charge.
A conviction for aggravated assault comes with heightened penalties. Second-degree felony aggravated assault can come with a sentence of two to 20 years in prison. First-degree felony aggravated assault can come with a sentence of five to 99 years in prison. With stakes this high, it is critical that you choose an experienced criminal law attorney.
Knowledgeable In Aggravated Assault Defense Strategies
At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, we come to these cases with more than 20 years of experience. We serve people accused of aggravated assault in Fort Worth, Southlake, Tarrant County, and statewide. We also defend against related crimes, including domestic violence and deadly misconduct.
There are many defense strategies that can prove effective in these cases, depending on the situation. Who initiated the altercation? Were you simply defending yourself? When the police arrive at the scene of a fight or an assault, they may not take the time to sort out who started it. Even if you were acting in self-defense, you might be arrested. However, we can fight the charges on the basis that you were attempting to defend yourself against harm.
If you are in need of an attorney that you can trust to fight for you, then go see Kyle. He knows the ropes and understands the system and has earned his reputation as an aggressive attorney who will unapologetically get the job done right the first time. You know your assault case is in the right hands when you hire our law firm.
Aggravated Assault in Texas
As mentioned, simple assault becomes aggravated assault if you are accused of causing serious injury to someone else or using/displaying a deadly weapon in the course of an assault. This is usually a second-degree felony, but the charge can escalate even further to a first-degree felony in certain cases. These include:
- Domestic assault involving both a deadly weapon and serious bodily injury
- Aggravated assault against one of the following:
- A public servant carrying out their job
- Someone who reports a crime or will be a possible witness in a criminal case
- A process server performing their job duties
- A security officer carrying out their job
- Discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and causing serious bodily injury
In these situations, a conviction can mean up to 99 years in state prison.
While aggravated assault often leads to prison time, there are other consequences, as well. You might be ordered to pay costly fines and restitution to victims for the harm they suffered. You might have to serve probation or parole even if you are not in prison.
Having an aggravated assault conviction on your record can also have lasting consequences. You might be disqualified from certain jobs, and employers may not want to hire you for any type of job. Landlords might decline to rent you housing, and you might be ineligible for public benefits. This type of violent offense can also impact your custody rights, and you might have a protective order issued against you.
Finally, aggravated assault is a “strike” under the three-strikes law in Texas. This means that once you have this conviction, the penalties for future violent felony offenses can be greatly increased. It is best to avoid a conviction on your record whenever you can.
Common Defenses to Aggravated Assault Charges
There are various legal defenses you can raise when you have been accused of aggravated assault. But whether a specific defense strategy is right for you will depend on the circumstances of your case. You can determine the most suitable defense for your case in a consultation with our skilled Fort Worth aggravated assault attorney. Until then, below are some possible defenses to a charge of aggravated assault.
Lack of Evidence
You can possibly assert the lack of evidence as a legal defense if the prosecution doesn’t satisfy the burden of proof, doesn’t prove the necessary elements of aggravated assault, or doesn’t have sufficient proof to support the charges against you.
If you were involuntarily intoxicated when you allegedly committed aggravated assault (if someone drugged your drink, for instance), then you might be able to argue that you did not commit the act intentionally, or you were not aware of the events that resulted in the incident because of the involuntary intoxication. Do note, though, that this defense will not work if you voluntarily consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of the assault.
Coercion or Duress
You may assert that you were coerced or under duress when you committed aggravated assault. While you will have to admit that you did, in fact, commit the assault if you use either the coercion or duress defense, these defenses can help your case if you can prove that someone else forced you to pick between getting seriously hurt or committing the assault. For example, if you were held at gunpoint and told to assault another person or else get shot.
If you can show that you inflicted physical harm on the person alleging to be the victim of aggravated assault, a self-defense strategy might work. Keep in mind that the elements should be proven to clearly show the court that the assault was done in self-defense. You must show that you were scared that you’d be hurt if you failed to act first and that you had no other option but to retaliate.
You can likewise use this self-defense if you were defending another person or your property from the alleged victim. But again, you must show that you have a reasonable fear that your property would be damaged or the person you were defending would be hurt.
If the alleged aggravated assault victim gave you voluntary and valid consent to being assaulted, then you can assert consent as a defense.
Alibi or Mistaken Identity
If you can show that you were not present at the scene of the crime at the time of the alleged assault and have a solid alibi to back up your claim, then this may be a viable defense. Or maybe, the alleged victim misidentified you and mistook you for someone else.
To find out more about the charges against you and the best defense strategy that will suit your case, reach out to the skilled Fort Worth aggravated assault lawyers of The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker as soon as possible.
Aggressive Defense Against Your Aggravated Assault Charges
Our firm assesses all possible defenses in your case, including false allegations, mistaken identity, self-defense, wrongful arrest, and more. We present all possible evidence in your favor to the prosecution to see if they will drop your charges or offer a fair plea bargain. Never plead guilty to an offense without first discussing the matter with an aggressive defense lawyer.
If you are in need an attorney that you can trust to fight for you, then go see Kyle. He knows the ropes and understands the system, and has earned his reputation as an aggressive attorney who will unapologetically get the job done right the first time!
We Will Take Your Case To Trial
Losing this case can result in many years behind bars. The last thing you want is a lawyer who will simply accept the first offer made by the prosecutor. Our team is led by a former prosecutor, so we know the options that are available and how the prosecution pursues convictions in this type of case. We know what to push for, and we know when to fight. We prepare every case for trial in the event you decide against pleading guilty, and you want us to stand up against your charges in court.
Speak with a Fort Worth Aggravated Assault Attorney Today
Allegations of aggravated assault are something you should take very seriously, as there can be lasting consequences that come with a conviction. You want a lawyer who will fight for the best possible outcome - whether that is getting your case dismissed, obtaining a favorable plea agreement, or fighting for an acquittal at trial.
You can count on the legal team of the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker to work hard for your freedom and future in your aggravated assault case. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights, so please call 817-332-7703 or send an email to schedule a meeting at our law office. We have two convenient locations in Fort Worth & Southlake.