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Aggravated Assault

All assault offenses in Texas involve alleged offenders causing physical contact or bodily injury, or threatening to cause bodily injury to another person. When an alleged assault results in serious bodily injury or involves the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, the crime becomes aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault is a serious felony offense in Texas that can result in very lengthy prison sentences and enormous fines. Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ,” and prosecutors may file aggravated assault charges even though alleged victims did not suffer injuries that satisfy this definition.

Attorney for Aggravated Assault Arrests in Fort Worth, TX

Were you arrested for an alleged aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon anywhere in the DFW area? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC right away for help protecting your legal rights.

Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who represent clients accused of violent crimes in Cleburne, Arlington, Weatherford, Fort Worth, and many other nearby communities in Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County. Call today 817-502-3600 to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Aggravated Assault in Tarrant County


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Texas Aggravated Assault Charges

An alleged offender commits the crime of aggravated assault under Texas Penal Code § 22.02(a) if he or she commits an assault as defined in Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)—meaning he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender's spouse; intentionally or knowingly threatened another person with imminent bodily injury, including the alleged offender's spouse; or intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knew or should have reasonably believed that the other person would regard the contact as offensive or provocative—and the alleged offender causes serious bodily injury to the other person or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. A deadly weapon is defined under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(17) as “a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury,” or “anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”

Generally, aggravated assault is classified as a second-degree felony. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.02(b), aggravated assault becomes a first-degree felony if:

  • The alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to or association with the alleged offender a dating relationship, family, or household member;
  • The alleged offense is committed by a public servant acting under color of the servant's office or employment, against a person the alleged offender knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant, in retaliation against or on account of the service of another as a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime, or against a person the alleged offender knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
  • The alleged offender is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and in discharging the firearm, causes serious bodily injury to any person.

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Aggravated Assault Penalties in Tarrant County

Convictions for aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon carry very steep consequences. Second-degree felony aggravated assault is punishable by a minimum of two years up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If a person is convicted of a first-degree felony aggravated assault offense, he or she may be sentenced to a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In addition to incarceration and fines, people convicted of felony offenses in Texas can also experience a number of other collateral consequences of a felony conviction that can include possible loss of firearm rights as well as the revocation, suspension, or denial of professional licenses.


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Texas Resources for Aggravated Assault Offenses

Community Based Programs | Fort Worth, Texas Police Department (FWPD) — Visit this section of the FWPD website to find information about programs supported by the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) Community Based Program fund. The City of Fort Worth and CCPD support nonprofit community-based organizations that meet one or more of the following goals: Support efforts to reduce violence crime and gang related activities through enhanced enforcement activities and crime prevention programs; support efforts to increase the safety of residents and to decrease crime throughout Fort Worth neighborhoods; and/or support efforts to increase the safety of youth and reduce juvenile crime through crime preventions and intervention programs. The CCPD Community Based Program fund supported six programs in fiscal year 2017.

Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX 76115
(817) 392-4200

State v. Chandler, 03-14-00547-CR (Tex. App. 2015) — The State of Texas issued an indictment charging Bryan Roland Chandler with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (family violence) and alleging that during the commission of the offense he used or exhibited a firearm. Chandler entered into a plea agreement in which he pled guilty to the offense, but the check box in his plea agreement for the state to indicate its recommendation on "Affirmative finding deadly weapon used" was left blank. When the district court accepted the plea agreement, signed Chandler's judgment of conviction, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, the space on the judgment designated for "Findings on Deadly Weapon" noted, "YES, A FIREARM." Chandler filed a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc  contending that the affirmative deadly-weapon finding should be deleted because that finding was waived as part of his plea agreement, and the district court granted his motion. The state appealed, contending that the district court improperly modified Chandler's judgment, but the Third Court of Appeals concluded that because the judgment nunc pro tunc was not a "modification" of Chandler's earlier judgment, the state did not have a right to appeal the judgment nunc pro tunc.

Reed v. State, 117 S.W.3d 260 (Tex. Crim. App. 2003) — Anthony James Reed was convicted of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He appealed the conviction, stating that the trial court improperly charged the jury by including the mental state of recklessness when the indictment alleged only the mental states of intentionally and knowingly. The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed, holding that “the trial court improperly broadened the indictment by including ‘recklessly’ in the jury instructions when the indictment alleged ‘intentionally’ and ‘knowingly.’”


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Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested in the DFW area for an alleged assault with a deadly weapon or aggravated assault, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC defends individuals in communities throughout Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Fort Worth, Weatherford, Cleburne, Arlington, and many other surrounding areas.

Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including having your criminal charged minimized or eliminated. They can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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