Aggravated assault in Arlington, Texas occurs when a person causes serious physical injury to another, including their spouse. The display or use of a deadly weapon in the course of committing an assault would also amount to aggravated assault in Arlington. Per the Texas Penal Code, deadly weapons include any object capable of causing death or serious bodily injury and used in such a manner. For example, firearms, brass knuckles, or even a rope.
This offense is usually charged as a second-degree felony and attracts up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. It can, however, be enhanced to a first-degree felony where it is committed on a family or household member, committed by or against a public officer on duty, or in retaliation on a witness in a criminal case.
In 2020, Arlington recorded a total of 1,516 aggravated assault cases. When compared to the statistics in 2017, aggravated assault increased considerably by 26%.
Sexual assault is a serious offense in Texas, and a conviction may attract severe penalties if convicted. Acts constituting sexual assault in Arlington include:
The law does not expressly describe what constitutes consent in the context of sexual relations, however, there is a lack of consent when the accused uses physical violence or threats of it to control the victim and when they are in a place of power or charged with taking care of the victim. For example, health care providers, clergy persons, and an employee of a nursing home the victim lives.
Sexual assault is generally considered a second-degree felony and a conviction may attract a state-prison sentence, sex offender registration, and restrictions on employment and housing. Sexual assault is a first-degree felony offense if any of the following occurs:
Arlington Police Department recorded a total of 237 rape cases in the city in 2020. Compared to 2017, rape incidences in Arlington dropped by 7%.
In Arlington, children older than 10 years old and younger than 18 can be charged with assault, as juveniles, not as adults. The procedure of the court would be governed by the Texas Family Law. Juvenile proceedings are usually less formal and the penalties attached are usually geared at rehabilitating the child offender. Nonetheless, for serious offenses, the Juvenile Court can impose determinate penalties including punishments that extend over a long period of years. Likewise, a juvenile can be charged with assault as an adult where the case involves the use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury. Finally, children below age ten are considered to lack intent to commit a crime. As such, they cannot be charged for assault even as juveniles.
According to countywide juvenile crime statistics provided by the Tarrant County Juvenile Services, there were 202 aggravated assaults and 107 sexual assault offenses by juveniles in 2019 alone. When compared to the statistics of 2018, both sexual assault and aggravated assault were reduced by 2% and 5% respectively.
The state has the power to press charges or bring a formal charge against the accused in court.
Charges for assault offenses in Arlington include:
Defending an assault charge requires the help of a qualified and competent attorney. The defense lawyer would ensure that relevant witnesses and evidence are admitted to the case. Likewise, the lawyer may employ applicable defense plans that may include presenting evidence in court that demonstrate:
Punishments attached to assault charges in Arlington typically depend on the seriousness of the act and the presence of aggravating circumstances such as display or use of weapons and assault against an elderly, child, or public officer. Assault offenses in Arlington are classified based on their respective punishments as:
Class C Misdemeanor Assault: such assaults are punishable with a fine of up to $500. It applies to:
Class B Misdemeanor Assault is punishable with up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. It applies to:
Class A Misdemeanor Assault: attracts a-year jail term, a fine not exceeding $4,000, or both the fine and jail term. These punishments apply to:
Third-Degree Felony Assault: is punished with two to ten years in prison which may include a fine of up to $10,000. Offenses under this category include:
Second-Degree Felony Assault: offenses under this category are punishable with 2 to 20 years of incarceration. It may also include a maximum fine of $10,000. Charged under this category include:
First-Degree Felony Assault: punishment for first-degree felony assault ranges from five years in prison to life imprisonment. The sentence may also include a fine of up to $10,000. Offenses under this classification include:
The offenses of simple and aggravated assault have similar fundamental elements, but they can, however, be differentiated based on the seriousness of the act to the victim, the existence of enhancing circumstances, and the resulting punishment.
With respect to the seriousness of the act to the victim, simple assault means that a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, or threatens to do so. Simple assault does not necessarily entail physical contact and bodily injury caused to the victim does not need to be serious before it leads to a conviction. However, for a contact leading to injury to be considered aggravated assault, such bodily injury must have been severe. Meaning that it must have led to permanent disfigurement, death, or substantial risk of death.
Furthermore, aggravated assault charges may result from circumstances like the display or use of weapons during an assault, assault by choking, and assault with a prior conviction. In contrast, simple assault charges do not usually involve such circumstances. As such the presence of such circumstances will automatically enhance a simple assault to aggravated assault.
Finally, simple assault is usually charged as a misdemeanor attracting punishments ranging from a fine of $500 only to a year jail term plus a fine of up to $4,000. Meanwhile, aggravated assault is a second-degree felony with penalties including two to 20 years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000. The offense can be escalated to a first-degree felony with punishments that include up to life in prison if it includes domestic violence or a public servant on duty.