Texas Attorney Assisting Clients with Deadly Weapon Charges in Galveston
Are you facing charges for assault with a deadly weapon in Galveston, Texas? Whether the crime was allegedly committed in a domestic situation in the home or elsewhere, you need to have an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side who can help to build the strongest possible defense in your case. Upon conviction, you will face financial penalties and jail time. In addition, you also may have difficulty obtaining approval to rent a home, and you may experience problems when you apply for a job or seek credit from a bank.
According to a publication from the U.S. Department of Justice, deadly weapons often include firearms, ammunition, silencers, explosives, and even certain types of knives. While a relatively small number of all arrests are for assault with a deadly weapon, this is a serious offense that carries substantial penalties. If you need assistance with your defense, a Galveston assault with a deadly weapon attorney can help.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon in the Home in Galveston, TX
Defendants often are charged with the crime of assault with a deadly weapon following charges for other family violence offenses in the home. When we think about domestic violence and the crimes that can arise under the state statute concerning offenses against the family, Under the Texas Penal Code, assault with a deadly weapon is a crime that falls under aggravated assault. A person commits an assault with a deadly weapon if the person commits an assault and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
To be convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor must be able to prove the following:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or
- 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; and
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
What constitutes a deadly weapon? The court looks at each case, but generally speaking, a firearm is always considered a deadly weapon. In addition, most weapons that are designed to cause serious or fatal injuries will also be treated as a deadly weapon. In some instances, though, even an object that is used in a manner intended to cause serious or fatal injuries, or to place a person in fear of serious or fatal injuries—such as a kitchen knife, a baseball bat, or even a person’s fists—can be defined as a deadly weapon.
Given that many charges of assault with a deadly weapon concern actions within the home, it is important to emphasize that household objects like baseball bats and kitchen knives, as we mentioned, may raise the charge from assault to assault with a deadly weapon.
How is Assault with a Deadly Weapon Different from Battery?
Assault with a deadly weapon is different from simple battery in that it involves the use of a deadly weapon. In addition, it is important to recognize the distinction between assault and battery. While Texas law allows charges of assault and battery under the category of assaultive offenses, assault can occur even when there is no physical contact. In other words, even threats to a person in the home—like a spouse or a sibling or a child—can lead to an assault charge, but not necessarily to a battery charge.
Then, that charge can become assault with a deadly weapon if a deadly weapon is used.
What Are the Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon in the home range from 3rd-degree to 1st-degree felony offenses, including when the assault is committed against a family member in the home. The level of felony offense depends upon specific facts of the case, but the following are the penalties for those felony convictions:
- 3rd-degree felony: Fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison;
- 2nd-degree felony: Fine of up to $10,000 and up to between 2 and 20 years in prison; and
- 1st-degree felony: Fine and a prison sentence of anywhere from 5 years to life.
What are the Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
We commonly assist defendants with the following defenses:
- False accusation;
- Lack of required intent;
- Self defense; and
- Actual innocence.
Seek Advice from a Galveston Assault with a Deadly Weapon Lawyer
If you were recently charged with aggravated assault, or assault with a deadly weapon, it is important to discuss your defense with an experienced Galveston criminal defense and family law attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates online for more information or call us at (281) 843-9776.