What’s so aggravated about assault anyways? (Part Two)

punch1.jpgTo understand aggravated assault, one must understand misdemeanor assault. Section 22.01 of the Penal Code defines assault as “(a) A person commits an offense if the person: 1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; [or] (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse…” Texas Penal Code section 1.07(8) says that “‘Bodily injury’ means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” So, to have an assault you must either cause or threaten bodily injury, which in most cases is physical pain (though illness and other physical impairment are sometimes seen.)

Section 22.02 of the Penal Code defines aggravated assault as “(a) A person commits an offense if the person commits assault as defined in Sec. 22.01 and the person: (1) causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or (2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.” Section 1.07(46) of the Penal Code says that “‘Serious bodily injury’ means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Thus, there are two aggravators to make an assault an aggravated one: 1) causing serious bodily injury, i.e. risk of death or actual disfigurement/loss of use of organ, or 2) displaying a deadly weapon in the course of committing an assault.

If you or someone you know is being investigated or prosecuted for a crime, call Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist Micah Belden at 903-744-4252.