Houston is famous for being one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. With a focus on medicine, research, and culture, the city has evolved into a metropolitan titan. But in 2020, the city has also seen a spike in cases of assault and domestic violence.
The Houston Police Department has recorded a 9% increase in cases of aggravated assault in 2020. This is quite bad considering that Texas was already the state with the second-highest number of aggravated assaults in 2019. If you ever find yourself needing a Houston assault lawyer, it might be a good idea to know what remedies are at your disposal.
Assault vs. Battery
In most states, assault and battery have different definitions. Assault can be any form of harm that may even be devoid of any bodily injury. This means that the simple threat of bodily harm can be penalized.
Battery, on the other hand, requires the victim to suffer actual physical injury. It does not fall under the offensive and provocative regions of assault and has higher penalties. In Houston, the term battery does not exist; rather, there are different degrees of assault.
Texas classifies two types of assault based on severity. The first is Simple Assault, which refers to both the act and the intent of causing physical injury to an individual. Even the threat of assault and assault through reckless behavior can be classified as simple assault.
Sexually touching a person without their consent or even touching them aggressively like a poke is considered simple assault of a provocative and offensive nature. This is where the scope of simple assault ends.
When an individual inflicts serious bodily injury to another person, then they have committed aggravated assault. Serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that is so severe as to cause disfigurement, loss of bodily function or parts, and death or the risk thereof.
If the assault is committed with a deadly weapon that could cause serious injury when used, it is aggravated assault. Even the intention to cause serious bodily harm can be classified as aggravated assault.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Because aggravated assault deals with cases of severe injury, the penalties in Houston are accordingly stern:
- if the aggravated assault was against a stranger or an acquaintance, then it is classified as a second-degree felony resulting in up to 20 years of prison time and fines up to $10,000
- if the aggravated assault was against a family member, guardian, or date, then it is classified as a first-degree felony with imprisonment between 99 years to life
- if the aggravated assault involved using a deadly weapon against a security officer or public servant in the course of their duty, then even if no bodily harm occurred could lead to a life imprisonment sentence.
Who to Approach
If you or someone you know was the victim of aggravated assault, you shouldn’t delay finding the best Houston Assault Lawyer you can get your hands on. It is understandable to be terrified and feel coerced but seeking appropriate legal remedies is the best option for you and your loved ones.