This is the next post in a series of articles about defending against aggravated assault charges in Laredo, Texas. The previous post discussed the potential impact of law enforcement’s failure to provide the required Miranda warnings when a suspect is in custody. A violation of the suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights may result in the exclusion of certain statements made by the suspect from evidence. Given the potentially complex legal arguments involved and the significant impact a Miranda defense may have, it is essential to consult with an experienced defense attorney. In this article, I will discuss how the use or possession of a weapon in the commission of an assault may result in elevated criminal charges and penalties. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, contact my office to speak with a lawyer.
If a suspect possesses or uses a weapon during the commission of a crime, the conduct will often be treated much more severely than if the gun was not present in the underlying offense. Under Texas law, possessing a firearm during the commission of a simple assault, even if not used during the crime, will increase the charge to aggravated assault. Simple assault is often a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is at least a second degree felony, subject to between 2-10 years of incarceration and up to a $10,000 fine. If the victim is a member of a protected group such as family members or public servants, the aggravated assault will be considered a first degree felony. This means the defendant may receive up to life imprisonment plus fines. In addition, the presence of a weapon may lead to additional federal or state criminal charges and penalties for illegal possession of a firearm or felon in possession violations. Convictions for aggravated assault involving a weapon may make an offender ineligible to receive probation and result in the loss of the right to vote or possess a firearm in the future.
Given the significant consequences of a conviction for aggravated assault involving a weapon, I cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining experienced defense counsel to represent your interests. An experienced lawyer will review all aspects of your case to explore and present all possible legal defenses on your behalf. If you have been accused of aggravated assault with a weapon, contact my office today to schedule a consultation. I also handle matters in other areas of south Texas.