The penalties for aggravated assault vary based on the circumstances of the incident. Under Section 22.02 of the Penal Code, aggravated assault is automatically classified as a second degree felony, unless certain other conditions exist. An aggravated assault may qualify as a first degree felony if:
- The defendant causes serious bodily injury to a family member and used or displayed a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
- The defendant knowingly assaults a public servant during the commission of their official duties.
- The assault occurs as a retaliatory strike against or on account of another individual serving as a witness or informant.
- The defendant knowingly assaults a security guard while the officer is on duty.
- The defendant discharges a firearm while inside a motor vehicle at either a building or a person, causing serious bodily harm.
I. Criminal Penalties
If charged with aggravated assault in the second degree, Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code prescribes a minimum prison term of 2 two years, with a maximum of up to 20 years. In addition to imprisonment, you may also face a fine of up to $10,000.
In cases of first degree felony aggravated assault, the minimum prison term increases to 5 years, with the possibility of a maximum of life in prison. Additionally, you may also be required to pay a $10,000 fine.
The use of a deadly weapon, your relationship to the victim and the extent of the injuries sustained by the victim typically determine whether aggravated assault is charged as a first or second degree felony in the state of Texas. If your case is treated as a domestic violence incident, you may also be subject to additional restrictions, including the imposition of a protective order and a restriction on your ability to own a gun or obtain a firearm license.
II. Civil Penalties
Beyond the criminal penalties for aggravated assault, you may also face civil penalties. The victim or their family members may choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against you, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses if necessary and pain and suffering. The trial judge may also require you to pay restitution to the victim if convicted.