Copperas Cove Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys
Legal representation for felony assault charges in Central Texas
The state of Texas takes allegations and charges for assault very seriously. Assault includes any situation where an individual intentionally causes (or threatens to cause) bodily harm to another, or physically touches another in an offensive manner. Felony and aggravated assault charges can lead to prison time and steep financial penalties. Whether facing false charges or overly aggressive prosecution, you need top-notch criminal defense.
At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, our Copperas Cove criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing a variety of assault charges, including aggravated and felony charges. We understand the consequences of an assault conviction, and when we take your case, our job is to reduce or dismiss the charges against you or fight for acquittal. Our two decades of experience give us the knowledge and resources to offer the strongest defense possible.
I was wrongfully accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Ms. Mary Beth Harrell fought diligently for five years until she was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss my case. She always stayed in contact with me throughout the five years and was always giving me advice on what to do to lead to a dismissal. It is only because of Mary Beth that I can now have a future again. I highly recommend her to everyone. She is by far the best lawyer I have ever had.
- N. Shepard
Frequently asked questions about aggravated assault in Copperas Cove
- What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?
- What are the degrees of felony assault?
- What are the penalties for felony assault in Texas?
- What is considered a deadly weapon?
- What is considered serious bodily injury?
- What is deadly conduct?
- What are Texas family violence laws?
- What are choking and strangulation charges?
What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?
The Texas Penal Code separates assault and aggravated assault into two distinct categories. However, certain situations and offenses can elevate assault charges to felony level. We handle a wide variety of assault charges in Copperas Cove and Coryell and Bell Counties. Assault is defined as:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Aggravated assault is a much more serious offense than assault. Texas defines aggravated assault as:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse; or
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
The biggest difference between assault and aggravated assault is the potential of being charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor, the consequences of which can affect you for the rest of your life. The felony assault defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm will mount a vigorous defense on your behalf.
What are the degrees of felony assault?
You may find yourself facing one of three charges of felony assault. Any felony charge is extremely serious. Felony assault charges can include:
- Third-degree felony assault. This involves assault on household and family members, protected individuals like public servants, assaults involving strangulation and choking, and intoxication assault. A misdemeanor assault may be upgraded to felony if you already have a domestic violence
- Second-degree felony assault. These charges involve assault with the use of a weapon, like a firearm, knife, bat, or other type of weapon. If the accused is a trained martial artist or fighter, the hands may be considered a weapon.
- First-degree felony assault. This is the most serious assault charge, and involves assault against domestic partners, public officials, police officers, security guards, emergency workers, witnesses and informants.
What are the penalties for felony assault in Texas?
When facing felony assault charges here in Copperas Cove, you need top-notch criminal defense. Texas lays down stiff penalties for conviction of felony assault:
- Third-degree felony assault. Conviction can result in prison terms of between two and 10 years and fines up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony assault. A conviction for second-degree felony assault is between two to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- First-degree felony assault. Because this is the most serious assault charge in the state, a conviction can result in fines up to $10,000 and between five years to life in prison.
Further, collateral consequences from a felony conviction can lead to loss of the right to own a firearm, the opportunity to serve in the military, and disqualification from certain types of employment and professional licensing. Let our attorneys work to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
What is considered a deadly weapon?
Although many people only think of guns or knives when defining a deadly weapon, almost any object can qualify as one when it is used in an assaultive manner. Vehicles, canes, bottles, and plastic bags have all been used as objects to inflict serious injury on another, resulting in assault charges. Even a plastic fast-food knife can be considered a deadly weapon if the perpetrator holds it to a person’s throat. However, it is the prosecutor’s job to prove the object was truly being used as a deadly weapon. It is our job as defense attorneys to show otherwise.
What is considered serious bodily injury?
Bodily injury does not necessarily mean visible signs of physical injury like cuts and bruises; it means that the victim felt physical pain. Simple assault involves bodily injury. Aggravated assault, however, involves serious bodily injury, which is much different.
Serious bodily injury means that the injury creates a substantial risk of death, or causes death. Serious bodily injury also encompasses injuries that cause serious permanent disfigurement, or loss or impairment of a body part or organ. The prosecutor must prove that the alleged injury is “serious bodily injury” on a case-by-case basis, which allows our attorneys to challenge the evidence and possibly reduce or minimize the charges against you.
What is deadly conduct?
Deadly conduct is another type of assault charge here in Texas. It is a third-degree felony under the Texas Penal Code and typically focuses on recklessness with firearms. You may face felony charges under deadly conduct if you:
- Discharge a firearm in the direction of one or more people
- Discharge a firearm at a house, building, or vehicle with reckless disregard as to whether the space is occupied
- Pointing a firearm at another person, even if you believe it to be empty
The aggravated assault defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm can build a strong case on your behalf, including whether you had consent for your actions.
What are Texas family violence laws?
Because there is no specific domestic violence statute here in Texas, family, dating, and household violence falls under assault laws. Depending on previous convictions or other circumstances, you may face enhanced penalties when family violence is involved.
Texas Penal Code defines family violence as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.”
These charges will rise to a felony if you have a previous domestic assault conviction, or if you were accused of using a weapon or caused serious bodily injury during the assault.
What are choking and strangulation charges?
Choking and/or strangulation charges are very serious, and can bump up a misdemeanor assault charge to a third-degree felony. Choking and strangulation is defined as “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly 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.” A first offense can lead to between two and 10 years in prison. A second offense is charged as a second-degree felony.
Copperas Cove felony assault defense attorneys on your side
If you are facing any type of assault charges, you need legal help now. The criminal defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm help clients accused of aggravated and felony assault. We want to help keep your criminal record clean and your future bright. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen and Copperas Cove, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us. We also serve Coryell and Bell Counties.