What is Considered Serious Bodily Injury in Texas Criminal Cases?
When one person in Texas causes harm to another person unprovoked, that person has usually committed a crime. And while physical harm is never a pleasant thing to experience, the law recognizes that all physical harm is not alike; a slap in the face, while provoking someone to feel anger, pain, or fright, is not the same as suffering a leg injury so serious that you lose the ability to walk for the rest of your life. For this reason, criminal charges and punishments involving assault depend on the seriousness of the physical injuries suffered.
What is Serious Bodily Injury in Texas?
Every state defines the idea of serious bodily injury somewhat differently, and whether a specific injury constitutes serious bodily injury can sometimes be open to interpretation by the jury in a criminal defense case. Texas law considers an injury to be a “serious bodily injury” when that injury creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, permanent disfigurement, or long-term loss of any part of the body.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- A knife wound that interferes with the functioning of an organ, such as the stomach or lungs
- Scarring that causes disfigurement and requires extensive medical treatment
- An injury that results in neurological damage and loss of limb use
- A broken facial bone that requires surgery to prevent disfigurement
- An eye injury that results in full or partial blindness
Examples that would probably not be considered serious bodily injury include:
- A broken bone that can heal without long-term adverse effects
- A knife wound that did not cause serious damage
- Minor scarring that does not result in disfigurement
Whether a scar is “minor” or constitutes “disfigurement” can be subject to interpretation, and a judge or jury will need to decide whether an injury rises to the description of serious bodily injury.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Defend Against Charges of Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury is a serious charge that has serious consequences, including long prison sentences. A great criminal defense attorney can help you argue that you acted in self-defense, acted to protect someone else, did not cause serious bodily injury, or even that you have been mistakenly identified as a suspect. The specific defense will depend on the details of your case, but you should not take a plea deal without consulting an attorney just because the state’s case against you seems strong.
Call a Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney
Understanding the law that applies to your case is essential for defending you against criminal charges. If you want an attorney with knowledge, experience, and a proven history of defeating or reducing charges against clients, call the Plano, TX criminal defense attorneys with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.. We offer free consultations so you can meet our team and see what we can do for you. Call us day or night at 214-303-9600.