When you face assault charges, the prosecutor can apply various degrees. In some cases, you may only face a misdemeanor, but usually assault is a felony.
According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, there are some specific conditions that could elevate your charge to a second-degree felony.
Your charge may become a second-degree felony if you have a specific relationship with the victim. A close relationship is most likely to lead to a higher degree of felony.
Law enforcement or legal worker
If your charge is against a judge or officer of the law while that person is working or carrying out official duties, then it will elevate your charge. There is a factor that you must know the person is working in an official capacity as a judge or officer.
Type of assault
You may also have second-degree felony charges if you try to suffocate or strangle the other person. The law defines this by trying to cut off the blood or oxygen flow by compressing the neck or blocking the mouth and nose.
If you have had previous assault charges, then the prosecutor may increase your charge to a second-degree felony. Other similar violent charges in your history may also lead to an elevation of your charge.
The prosecutor has a lot of leeway in determining whether to charge you with a second-degree felony or a lesser charge. However, he or she must use the guidelines within the law to do so. If you do not meet the condition for a second-degree charge, then it may be difficult for the prosecutor to charge you that way as he or she must prove the charge is valid in court.