What is a Felony Assault in San Antonio, TX?
When someone is accused of an assault in San Antonio, TX the first question they often ask is “how much trouble am I in?” Assaults can be both felonies or misdemeanors. If you’ve been arrested for an assault you may be wondering what makes an assault a felony, or if you’ve been arrested for a felony or a misdemeanor. Knowing the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor can help you get the most out of your San Antonio, Texas criminal defense representation. This post focuses on felony assaults and not sexual assaults which are described in more detail, here.
What Court is your Case in?
The easiest way to determine if you have a felony or misdemeanor assault is to check on the court to which your case was assigned. If your case is in City (Municipal) Court or County Court the case is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor assaults are very serious and can have life-long consequences. However, they are not as serious as felony assaults which are the focus of this post. Felony assaults are always in District Court. Sometimes, misdemeanor assaults can be enhanced to felony assaults so it is important to take them seriously.
Technically, every felony assault has been aggravated from a misdemeanor to a felony. In criminal defense, there is a concept called a lesser included offense. Every misdemeanor assault is a lesser included offense of any felony assault. There are two basic kinds of Aggravated Assaults;
- Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon. If a person uses a weapon while committing an assault in way that can or might cause death or serious bodily injury the State will likely allege Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. A Deadly Weapon can really be anything as long as the person attempts to cause death or serious bodily injury.
- Aggravated Assault Serious Bodily Injury. If an assault causes Serious Bodily Injury the State will also allege an Aggravated Assault. Serious Bodily Injury requires the permanent impairment or disfigurement of another person.
Other Felony Assaults
If your assault case is not an aggravated assault it can still be considered a felony assault. The other ways an assault can be enhanced to a felony assault are listed below.
- Continuous Family Violence. Someone can be accused of continuous family violence if they are accused of two or more incidents of domestic violence assault within a twelve month period. The accusation does not have to involve the same family member and the incident can occur on the same day.
- Assault by Strangulation or Choking. If the assault involves interrupting the normal breathing of the alleged complainant (in criminal law the person most people would call the victim is called the complainant) by the application of force to the throat or neck the accused can be charged with Assault by Strangulation or Choking.
- Domestic Violence Second Offense. If someone is accused of domestic violence and they have previously been put on probation OR deferred adjudication they can be accused of domestic violence second offense. Most people are surprised to find out that even after successfully completing their deferred adjudication they can be exposed to a felony if they are accused of a second family violence offense.
Strategies for Dealing with Felony Assaults
If you’ve been accused of any of the felony assaults listed above, you need a strategy getting the best possible result. Being prepared to answer the following questions will help your criminal defense attorney prepare a strategy for getting you the best possible result. Have you been arrested or are you under investigation? Do you have a relationship with the complaining witness or are you strangers? If you have a relationship will the complaining witness
As can be seen above, there are a number of different ways an assault accusation can become a felony assault accusation. At The Locke Law Group, our highly rated attorneys have handled hundreds of these situations. We know how to find the contradictions in witness statements and present them to the prosecutors to justify a reduction in charges or to justify their decision to dismiss the case. If you’ve been accused of a felony assault or if you are concerned that you might be under investigation for a felony assault. Give us a call. Our free strategy session will help you come up with a plan so that you can get the best possible result for your case.