How to Reduce Aggravated Assault to a Misdemeanor in TexasPublished: Oct 13, 2023 in Assault
In Texas, being charged with ‘aggravated assault’ is daunting. As a felony, this can mean a lot of jail time and a lasting mark on your record. But don’t lose hope. You might be able to lessen this charge and its penalties. Our Houston legal team can guide you through this process.
Felony Aggravated Assault in Texas
Aggravated assault in Texas means seriously hurting someone, possibly with a weapon. This is more serious than a simple threat or minor injury. The penalties are severe:
- 2nd-degree felony: 2-20 years in jail and up to $10,000 fine
- 1st-degree felony (like using a weapon in family disputes): 5 years to life and up to $10,000 fine.
Assault Felonies Can Be Reduced
Facing this charge is scary. Many think admitting fault and hoping for mercy is best, but that often doesn’t work out. There are ways to defend against aggravated assault charges, and avenues to explore that may result in reduced charges – possibly even a dismissal.
Why Reducing the Charge Matters
- It Protects Your Criminal Record. Felonies are a lasting stain on a person’s life. They can obstruct employment opportunities, housing applications, and even strip away certain rights like firearm possession.
- You can Improve Sentencing. Misdemeanor penalties are generally shorter and less severe than felonies. They also allow penalties to be served in more favorable environments like county facilities or house arrest.
- It Helps Your Reputation. A felony for causing a serious injury often carries a negative social stigma. However, by working to clarify the incident and explain the factors involved, you can better preserve your character.
- Avoid Future Legal Trouble. Mistakes happen, but with systems like the “three strikes” laws, evading a felony conviction can safeguard against harsher penalties in future legal troubles.
Factors Considered for Reducing Felony Assault
Not all aggravated assault charges are created equal. Several mitigating factors can influence the potential for charge reduction:
- Lack of Prior Criminal History: First-time offenders can often find leniency.
- Severity of Injury: Lesser injuries might not warrant a felony charge.
- Self-defense or Defense of Others: If you were protecting yourself or someone else, it could significantly help your case.
- Witness Credibility: Inconsistent or unreliable witness testimony can weaken the prosecution’s case.
- Accidental Harm: Did you unintentionally cause harm? This can be pivotal.
Alternative Misdemeanor Charges
There are chances to get lesser charges, depending on your situation. For example, if you’re charged after a minor bar fight, and it’s your first offense, the charge could be reduced to simple assault. Other possible charges include:
- Reckless Endangerment
- Disorderly Conduct
- Deferred Prosecution/Suspended Sentence
Remember, each situation is unique. And factors like the victim’s feelings and your actions after the event can also affect the outcome.
Reducing Aggravated Assault Requires an Attorney
Felony aggravated assault charges in Texas are serious, but with proper legal counsel, there’s a chance for a better result. If you hope to mitigate the adverse effects of a felony assault case, a skilled lawyer can help:
- Gather Evidence in Your Favor
- Negotiate with Prosecutors
- Build a Solid Defense
- Highlight Rehabilitation & Remorse
So, while a Texas aggravated assault charge is formidable, it isn’t the end of the road. With the right legal strategy and representation, there’s hope for a charge reduction, a dismissal, or proving your innocence outright.
Facing Felony Assault in Houston? Call Ned Barnett
If you or someone you know faces such a charge, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. As a former prosecutor and experienced violent crimes defense attorney, Ned Barnett knows how felony assault cases work and what can be done to help.
We understand what it’s like facing violent accusations and have a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes in complex cases. Attorney Barnett is a fierce advocate for the accused and a careful strategist for his clients. Let us review what happened, advise you, and fight to get the best possible outcome.
For a free and confidential consultation, call (713) 222-6767.