What is a Deadly Weapon in Texas Criminal Law?
Movies are full of cocky criminals flexing their muscles and claiming that punching someone with their well-trained fists would be considered assault with a deadly weapon. But in real life, charges of assault with a deadly weapon are serious and can lead to long years in prison and hefty fines. It is worth knowing, then - what exactly is a deadly weapon under Texas law? And for that matter, what exactly is assault?
What Does Texas Law Consider a Deadly Weapon?
Texas law allows anything that was used with the intent to cause serious injury or death to someone else as a deadly weapon. This includes obvious objects like guns and knives, but could also include a baseball bat, rocks, a car, and yes - even hands and feet.
What Does Texas Law Consider Assault?
Some states distinguish between assault and battery, but in Texas, the definition of assault is fairly broad. If you intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly do any of the following, you can be charged with assault:
Physically hurt someone else
Threaten to physically hurt someone else
Physically contact someone in a way you know will be offensive or provocative, such as slapping, poking, or spitting
Doing any of these actions to certain groups of people, such as police officers, older and disabled people, or government employees of any kind means you can be charged with aggravated assault. Charges of aggravated assault can likewise be brought when the assault is against a family member or if it causes bodily injury serious enough to require hospitalization, such as breaking someone’s bones or causing internal bleeding.
Putting it Together - Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Because any assault with a deadly weapon is likely done with the intent to seriously injure or kill someone, using a deadly weapon in an assault usually makes it an aggravated assault. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is a second degree felony in Texas, which allows up to $10,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison, as well as the potential for restitution to the victim. The specific circumstances of the case could warrant more or less time.
Call a Dallas-Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction for assault with a deadly weapon carries serious consequences that could affect you for the rest of your life. Get the decades of experience and commitment of a Tarrant County, TX criminal defense attorney with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. on your side by calling 214-303-9600 today and scheduling a free consultation. Se habla espanol.