What Makes an Assault Charge Aggravated?

A Man Assaults Another Man.

What makes an assault charge aggravated?

Anytime you threaten to harm someone, you’ve committed a simple assault. But, if you make a serious attempt to cause serious bodily harm to someone with no regard for their life, you’ve committed an aggravated assault. Often aggravated assaults involve weapons, although the weapon doesn’t have to be present or used for the assault to be considered. Weapons don’t necessarily have to be involved at all, only the threat of serious injury need be involved. In most states, a simple assault is elevated to aggravated if an attack or threat of an attack is made against a public servant such as a police officer or firefighter. A person’s mental state can also elevate charges. If a perpetrator intentionally acts to harm someone, the charges are also elevated.

If you’ve been charged with any type of violent crime in Austin, TX and need help with bail, get help from the experts at ATX Bail Bonds. We offer a full range of bail services and other assistance. Call us today at 512.834.2245 when you need immediate help.

Is aggravated assault a felony?

Under the Texas Penal Code, aggravated assault is considered a felony. Normally, it is considered a second-degree felony, but it can be elevated to a first-degree felony if both a weapon was involved and serious bodily injury was caused. In Texas, serious bodily injury is considered any injury that could lead to death or permanent disfigurement. 

What is the difference between aggravated assault and battery?

Because the terms are often used interchangeably, people often confuse such offenses as assault, aggravated assault, and battery. With a simple assault, just the threat of intentional violence can lead to the charge, whereas with an aggravated assault, the perpetrator intentionally injures someone and the injury could lead to death or disfigurement. Sometimes a weapon is involved and the charge becomes an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, even if the weapon was never used in the attack. Battery occurs when any assault causes harm to a person. You can be charged with assault and battery, for instance, if you threaten to punch someone and then follow through with the threat by actually punching that person. If you keep hitting the person with the intent to hurt them and their injuries could disfigure them or cause them to die, then the charge gets elevated to aggravated assault.  

Aggravated assault for a minor

When a minor intentionally seriously harms someone, it’s very likely a judge will consider the offense serious enough that the juvenile will be tried as an adult. This also means a minor could face sentencing as an adult as well if convicted.

Aggravated assault to a police officer

Under Texas law, you commit an aggravated assault if you threaten or attack a police officer or other public servant such as a firefighter or paramedic when that person is acting in their role as a public servant. No harm has to be done or no weapon has to be used for the assault to be elevated to the felony charge. Commissioned security officers are also considered in this case as well. In certain cases, non-commissioned security officers also qualify. 

What can be considered a deadly weapon?

While many people often think of firearms when they think of deadly weapons, in the case of an aggravated assault, several objects, including, but not limited to, those listed below;

  • Knives, including switchblades, daggers, stilettos, and swords
  • Blackjacks
  • Brass knuckles
  • Nunchaku or fighting sticks
  • Shuriken or throwing stars
  • Large rocks
  • Clubs or baseball bats

Depending on which state you’re charged in, almost any type of object that is used in an attack to cause serious injury or even kill might be considered a deadly weapon. The amount of force and type of injury caused is considered. A recent case in Texas, for instance, ruled that a floor could be considered a deadly weapon because a defendant slammed the victim’s head against it. 

Is a Taser considered a deadly weapon?

Tasers and other devices that are considered non-lethal or less-lethal can be considered deadly weapons in Texas. This will depend on how the Taser was used. Although Tasers and stun guns are generally used to subdue or stun people, they can under certain circumstances seriously injure or even kill a person. The intent of the attack and the seriousness of the injury will always be taken into consideration.

Is it illegal for a felon to carry a Taser?

Laws vary from state to state about carrying stun guns, Tasers, and other less-lethal weapons. In many states, a convicted felon cannot carry or possess weapons of any sort, including Tasers. No restrictions like this exist, however, under Texas law. If you are a convicted felon, you may want to check with local authorities in your state about what you can carry or possess when it comes to non-lethal weapons.

A Person in Jail.

Can aggravated assault with a deadly weapon be expunged in Texas?

If you’ve been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas, that assault charge will remain on your record. No assault charges, according to legal experts, can be expunged from court records in Texas unless the person is found not guilty or the case is dismissed. If you are found not guilty your arrest record and charge record can be immediately removed.

While your record cannot be expunged, if you received deferred adjudication on the charge, you can request the record be sealed. When a record is sealed, there is limited access, and the charge will not appear on a background check.

If you’ve been arrested for aggravated assault in Austin, TX and want to get released quickly on bail, let the team at ATX Bail Bonds help you. When you call 512.834.2245 we’ll get to work immediately so you can get released quickly.