What is Assault With a Deadly Weapon?
Assault with a deadly weapon is a category of assault. The actual, full offense is considered ‘aggravated assault with a deadly weapon’ and occurs when a deadly weapon is used during an act of aggravated assault.
In Texas, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is a criminal offense defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person or using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
To break this down even further, an assault is defined by the state of Texas as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another. Assault can also include threatening to cause imminent harm to another.
This means that simply brandishing a weapon and threatening someone can land you with an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.
What Are Some Examples of a Deadly Weapon?
The State of Texas defines a deadly weapon as a firearm or anything designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury. Anything that, in the manner of its use or intended use, is capable of causing death or injury.
This means that things like guns and knives are obviously considered deadly weapons. However, things like bats, pipes, chains, axes, and any other improvised weapons are considered deadly weapons if they were used in a fashion that was meant to cause serious bodily injury or death.
It is important to note that if you were charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but the weapon you were accused of using is not listed here, it does not mean you can’t be stuck with the charge. The courts only care about whether or not the weapon was used or threatened to be used in a potentially deadly manner.
What Are Some Common Defenses When Facing an Assault With A Deadly Weapon Charges?
The most common defense available to someone who has been accused of assault with a deadly weapon is usually self-defense. If the accused can prove that they were in a position where they were forced to defend themselves or others from the actions of an aggressor, then they may be able to have the charges dismissed.
To claim self-defense, the accused must be able to prove the following:
- They faced a threat of unlawful force or harm
- They perceived the threat and had a reasonable basis to fear imminent harm to themselves
- There was no harm or provocation on their part
- They had no reasonable chance to retreat from the situation
This means that if you have been accused of assault with a deadly weapon, but you believe that you were forced to defend yourself, you did not instigate a hostile interaction, and you had no chance to escape from an aggressor, then you may be able to claim self-defense.
Someone accused of assault with a deadly weapon can also claim that they were put into a position where they felt they needed to defend others around them. The above bases must still be true.
Another defense is consent. Suppose multiple people agree to an activity where there is a decent likelihood of bodily injury, and the activity itself is legal. In that case, you are generally protected from legal charges as a result of injuries.
For example, let’s say you and your friends are playing a game of basketball. You all go into the game aware that injuries are a real possibility. If an accident as a result of the game should occur and someone catches an elbow to the nose, they can not seek criminal charges because they were aware of the possibility of injury.
Of course, the very best outcome can be blamed on a simple case of mistaken identity. Perhaps you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and did not have anything to do with a situation where a deadly weapon was used. Yet, in the commotion, you are pinned as the person who was the aggressor. If you can prove that you were not the person committing the crime, then, of course, your charges will be dropped.
How Can Cory Roth Law Office Help You?
An assault with a deadly weapon charge is no joke. This crime is a second-degree felony. It comes with potential penalties of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. That doesn’t even include the impact that such a serious charge can have on your personal and professional life.
Having a second-degree felony like assault with a deadly weapon on your criminal record can affect your ability to gain lawful employment and safe residence. It can affect divorce proceedings and custody agreements, and the legal fees can and will stack up.
An experienced criminal defense attorney who knows their way around the Texas court system in regard to assault with a deadly weapon charges can be the difference between a prison sentence and the all-clear.
A good criminal defense lawyer knows how to navigate the Texas legal system. They will help you fill out the proper documentation, answering your questions along the way. If your case should go to trial, you will want a criminal defense lawyer in your corner, not an overworked public defender.
Do not waste time because you know the prosecutor isn’t. Contact Cory Roth Law Offices to schedule a case evaluation, and together, we will fight for the most just outcome!