You got into an argument and it escalated and got out of control. The next thing you knew, you were involved in a full-on physical fight with the other party. When the police arrived, you were charged with aggravated assault.

What now? In Texas, you can be charged with aggravated assault whenever a physical altercation results in someone’s serious injury or a deadly weapon is used. Keep in mind that a “deadly weapon” can be anything that you happened to have in your hand or grab as long as you used it against the other party and it could (or did) cause considerable injuries.

While most simple assaults are considered misdemeanors, aggravated assault is generally a felony charge — and that means jail time if you’re convicted. That makes it especially important to mount a serious defense.

Some of the possible defenses you may have to aggravated assault charges include:

  • You were defending yourself. If you were responding to a reasonable fear for your safety because the other party attacked you, that’s a valid defense. You have a legal right to protect yourself.
  • You were not actually using a deadly weapon. Maybe the police arrived on the scene to see you brandishing a bar stool at your adversary — but you were only trying to hold them at bay, not hit them with it.
  • You were defending your spouse, your children or someone else. If the other party was clearly threatening someone’s safety or well-being and you stepped in to stop them, that’s similar to self-defense and can be a reasonable justification for your actions.

If you’re facing charges after a fight, get experienced assistance as quickly as possible. You need to protect your rights in court.