Being charged with a crime as serious as assault can be incredibly overwhelming. However, when the offense is charged as an aggravated assault, this becomes even more severe. As such, understanding what can increase these charges is critical. Additionally, you should know why you must connect with Houston assault lawyers if arrested for this crime. Keep reading to discover what you must know about these serious charges.

How Does Aggravated Assault Differ From Simple Assault?

In Texas, if someone is charged with simple assault, it’s necessary to understand that no physical contact has to occur to be charged. Generally, any time someone intentionally or recklessly causes bodily harm to another, makes physical contact the victim perceives as offensive or provoking, or even threatens someone with bodily harm, they can receive a “simple” assault charge.

However, if during this assault, the aggressor causes serious bodily harm or brandishes a deadly weapon during the altercation, they can be charged with aggravated assault. This weapon can include a firearm, knife, or a vehicle. Additionally, great bodily harm includes broken bones, chronic conditions or disabilities, or disfigurement.

What Are the Consequences of This Crime?

If you are charged with an aggravated assault, you will generally face a second-degree felony charge. As such, you can expect to face anywhere between two and twenty years in prison and the potential for a fine of up to $20,000.

However, if you commit an aggravated assault against a family member, in retaliation against a witness or someone who reported a crime, or discharge a firearm toward a home or vehicle, this increases to a first-degree felony. This raises the consequences, meaning you can face five to ninety-nine years in prison.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested for This Offense?

When you are arrested on assault charges, it can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. However, it’s essential to understand that how you handle yourself in this moment can impact the outcome of your case. When placed under arrest, many try to plead their innocence to the officers. However, it’s imperative to understand that you must invoke your right to remain silent. By speaking to the officers without legal representation, you may accidentally say something that can be twisted and held against you by the police. As such, you should inform the officers upon your arrest that you want an attorney and then invoke your right to remain silent.

Connecting with an experienced criminal defense attorney when facing aggravated assault charges is critical. Trying to navigate these charges alone can be overwhelming and will likely lead to unfavorable outcomes. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with a lawyer who can examine your circumstances and help you fight for the best possible outcome.

When you’re in legal trouble, the Sparks Law Firm, PC, can help. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our team is committed to fighting for you. Contact us today to discuss the circumstances of your criminal case with a member of our experienced legal team.