Accused of Aggravated Assault in Waco?
If you have been accused of aggravated assault in McLennan County, you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Thomas C. West is a board certified criminal defense lawyer and former McLennan County prosecutor. His experience in these cases can help provide important strategy and spot weakness in the prosecution’s case. Call him at 254-753-6437 for a free 30 minute consultation.
In Texas, there are three ways a person can commit the crime of assault.
1. intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another,
2. intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury, or
3. intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when he knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
What is the penalty range for assault?
Depending on your prior criminal history and the specific facts alleged by the police, an assault or aggravated assault case can be filed as a Class C misdemeanor on up to a 1st degree felony.
The punishment range on the low end of the spectrum is fine-only convictions or deferred disposition that can result in an expunction. Higher level misdemeanors can involve probation or time in the county jail, usually depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. Felony cases can also involve probation or prison time and the most severe felony cases can carry a maximum punishment range of life in prison.
Aggravated Assault McLennan County Texas
An aggravated assault is a second degree felony except in the following circumstances in which it is a first degree felony:
•the offender uses a deadly weapon in committing the assault and causes serious bodily injury to the victim and the victim is a family or household member, or someone the offender is or has dated or had an intimate relationship with, qualifying the offense as a domestic assault
•the aggravated assault is committed by a public servant, such as a state worker or city counselor acting in his official capacity
•the victim is a person the offender knows to be a public servant engaged in the performance of his duties or the assault is committed in retaliation for the public servant performing his duties
•the aggravated assault is committed in retaliation against a witness, informant or a person who reported a crime
•the victim is a person the offender knows to be a security officer engaged in performing his duties, or
•the offender shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle at a house, building or motor vehicle with reckless disregard for whether the house, building or motor vehicle is occupied and causes serious bodily injury to the victim.
Deadly Conduct in Waco Texas
The offense of deadly misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor if it involves only conduct that puts another in danger. The offense is a third degree misdemeanor if it involves discharging a firearm.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault and Deadly Misconduct
A person convicted of aggravated assault in Texas faces the following possible penalties:
• Second degree felony – from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
• First degree felony – from 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
A person convicted of deadly misconduct in Texas faces the following possible penalties:
• Class A misdemeanor – up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4000, or both
• Third degree felony – from two to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
A person convicted of aggravated assault or deadly misconduct in Texas can be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment or counseling or repair or replacement of damaged property.
Deferred Adjudication and Community Supervision
Texas law provides certain alternatives to a jail or prison sentence for a person charged with or convicted of aggravated assault or deadly misconduct.
If a defendant pleads guilty to a misdemeanor deadly misconduct charge, the court may grant a deferred adjudication. The court postpones sentencing for a period of time on the condition that the defendant successfully complies with probation and certain other requirements, such as no new arrests or criminal offenses during the conditional period, paying restitution, or doing volunteer work in the community.
If the defendant satisfies all the court’s requirements, the court will discharge the defendant and dismiss the case. The arrest, deferral and dismissal will be part of the defendant’s criminal record. If the defendant fails to satisfy the court’s requirements, the court will impose a sentence and enter a conviction. This alternative is most typically granted to first offenders. Deferred adjudication may be available to a person charged with aggravated assault or felony deadly misconduct but such a light sentence for such a serious crime would be highly unusual.
If a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the court also can grant community supervision (probation) as an alternative to a jail or prison sentence for up to two years for a misdemeanor and up to ten years for a felony. The court can require the defendant to serve some time in jail or prison before beginning community supervision – 30 days for a misdemeanor and 180 days for a felony. The defendant must successfully complete probation and any other conditions the court imposes or the court can require him to complete the sentence in jail or prison.
A person on community supervision must meet with a probation officer, pay probation costs, and comply with conditions such as treatment, maintaining employment, curfews, drug tests, and avoiding any further criminal activity or arrests. Waco defense attorney Thomas C. West is a former prosecutor who used to bring assault charges against Defendants. He is board-certified in Criminal Law, which is a distinction held by very few criminal defense attorneys. If you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Waco, call Thomas West at 254-753-6437.