Assault with a Deadly Weapon
An assault conviction can disrupt your career and personal relationships. If your crime involved a deadly weapon, then the penalties can uproot your life entirely. Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious offense that carries heavy penalties. You may be burdened with felony charges which can lead to prison time.
It’s important that you act now. Using a deadly weapon during an assault is considered an aggravating factor in court. You must hire quality legal representation before you panic. A skilled attorney can assess your case, so you can make the best decisions moving forward.
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney.
Attorney for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Travis County, Texas
Have you been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon? Are you unsure what to do next? Exercise your right to remain silent with law enforcement and contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett is a qualified criminal defense attorney who has represented many clients charged with assault.
Contact Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation. He will evaluate your case and chart out a defense plan for you. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett practices law throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista and Lakeway.
Overview of Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Texas
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon Under Texas Law
- What Does Texas Consider to be a Deadly Weapon?
- Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Possible Defenses
- Additional Resources
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Defined in Texas
Certain factors can enhance an assault charge to aggravated assault. One of these factors is the exhibition or use of a deadly weapon. Texas Statute § 22.02 states a person commits aggravated assault if:
- They cause serious bodily injury to another person; or
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the assault.
The term “serious bodily injury” is defined as any injury that creates:
- A substantial risk of death;
- Serious permanent disfigurement; or
- Impairment or loss of the function of an organ or bodily member.
What Does Texas Consider to be A Deadly Weapon?
The term “deadly weapon” may seem vague. Technically, most objects could be used as a weapon. However, Texas has a specific legal definition for deadly weapon. Texas Penal Code § 1.07 states a deadly weapon is:
- A firearm or any item made or adapted for the sole purpose of killing or causing serious bodily injury onto another person; or
- Anything whose intended use was to cause serious bodily injury or death.
Texas law states that your penalties can be enhanced if you present or use a firearm during the commission of an assault. This means you don’t have to use the firearm to be charged with aggravated assault. Just pointing the firearm at another can land you an aggravated assault conviction.
Listed below are some examples of deadly weapons in Texas.
- Explosive devices;
- Armor-piercing ammunition;
- Brass knuckles;
- Tire deflation devices;
- Device that emits toxic chemicals; and
- Zip guns.
Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Texas
The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon depend on who the alleged victim is. Normally, an assault with a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony that can result in:
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
If you did any of the following, your crime will be elevated to a first-degree felony:
- Caused serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon to a family member, significant other or household member;
- Committed aggravated assault on a public servant on or off duty;
- Committed aggravated assault on a public servant as retaliation for them performing an official duty;
- Committed aggravated assault in retaliation against a witness, informant or other person who has reported a crime; or
- Committed aggravated assault against a security officer.
The crime can also be a first-degree felony if you were in a motor vehicle and:
- Shot a firearm in or at or in the direction of a motor vehicle, habitation or building;
- Was careless about whether the building, motor vehicle or habitation was occupied; and
- As a result of discharging the firearm another person suffered from serious bodily injury.
Possible Defenses to Aggravated Assault Charges
It can be difficult to defend against assault with a deadly weapon allegations. If the victim testifies, the jury may sympathize with their case. It can be even more tricky to fight assault charges if there is proof the weapon belonged to you. However, you still have options.
You can hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney will assess your case to uncover your legal options. They can collect valuable evidence, file motions to suppress the prosecution’s evidence and formulate a strong defense for you. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it’s important that you contact a practiced attorney.
Listed below are some possible defenses your attorney may use for your case.
- Self Defense – Texas law states you are permitted to use deadly force to stop an immediate threat of injury or death.
- Defense of Others – You may be able to use force or deadly force to defend others from someone who is threatening serious bodily injury or death.
- Lack of a Deadly Weapon – If your attorney can prove that you weren’t carrying a deadly weapon, your penalties will be reduced. However, you may still face assault charges.
- Lack of Intent – A large component of assault charges are intent. If you didn’t intend to commit assault with a deadly weapon, you may have your charges reduced or dismissed.
RAINN – Visit the official website for the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), a non-profit group that is dedicated to minimizing domestic violence. Access their site to learn more about their national domestic violence hotline, resources for victims and stories from survivors.
Texas Assault Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, a collection of Texas laws. Access the statutes to find more information about assault, sexual assault and aggravated assault. Find more information about the charge’s specifics, penalties and possible defenses.
Lawyer for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Austin, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it’s imperative that you gain legal representation now. You could face felony charges that includes prison time. Start the first steps of your defense today with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett.
Kevin Bennett is a skilled attorney who focused on criminal defense. He handles each case personally, so he can ensure every client gets undivided attention for their case. In addition, Kevin Bennett has represented numerous clients for assault and aggravated assault charges.
Contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today to set up a free consultation. Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the Austin area including Lago Vista, West Lake Hills, Rollingwood and Lakeway.
This article was last updated on February 1st, 2019.