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What Makes a Felony Aggravated?


All felonies are serious, but being charged with a crime classified as ‘aggravated’ is much more serious.

Being charged with a felony is always a very serious matter. When a crime is classified as aggravated, however, the situation is much more severe. Aggravated crimes are considered by the justice system as being much more serious than crimes that are not, and these offenses have much harsher penalties attached to them. In many situations, aggravated felonies involve a dangerous weapon, although that does not necessarily have to be the case. Below, our San Antonio criminal defense lawyer explains further.

When is a Felony Considered Aggravated?

In Texas, any criminal offense can be elevated to a higher classification if it is considered aggravated. Under the Texas Penal Code, any crime can be classified as aggravated if it involves one of the following:

  • You knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused someone else to suffer serious bodily injury.
  • You displayed or used a weapon while committing the criminal offense, which includes the act of threatening another person with serious bodily injury.

Additionally, the Texas Penal Code also includes a charge of deadly conduct, which is similar to an aggravated offense but it does have some differences. The charge of deadly conduct does not rely on a specific set of circumstances that elevate a crime to a more serious charge. Instead, the charge of deadly conduct is an offense unto itself. The charge of deadly conduct involves one of the following:

  • You recklessly put someone else in danger or placed them at risk of suffering serious bodily injury.
  • You intentionally fired a weapon at a building, dwelling, or vehicle without regard to whether it was occupied at the time.

In all of the above scenarios, serious bodily injury is any harm that places someone at risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or loss of function in any part of the body.

Felonies Classified as Aggravated in Texas

The term ‘aggravated’ typically refers to elevating a criminal offense and, as such, the type of punishment a person will face. Nearly any offense can be upgraded to an aggravated charge, but there are some that are more common than others. These include:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Aggravated burglary
  • Deadly misconduct

If you have been charged with an aggravated felony, it is critical that you obtain sound legal advice. If convicted, you will face much harsher prison sentences, higher fines, and other consequences.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help Protect Your Future

Any time you are charged with a criminal offense, it is critical that you speak to a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer. When charged with an aggravated felony, this is even more crucial. At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our experienced attorney can advise on the best strategy to use in your case so your rights and future freedom are protected. Call us now at (210) 222-9132 or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.