Houston Assault Lawyer
Assault Attorney Serving Houston, Galveston and Nearby Locations
Assault is considered a criminal charge in the state of Texas and prosecutors take this crime very seriously, especially if any type of weapon is involved. Assault charges can result from something as seemingly minor as a threat of bodily harm to someone else, including a spouse or family member. So while it is understood that disagreements between people can sometimes become tense and cause them to act in ways they would not otherwise, when such actions result in aggression and harm, legal action may result. That is because any kind of threat of a violent attack, with or without the involvement of a dangerous weapon, can be considered assault. In other words, under Texas law, an individual can be charged with assault even if no physical contact between parties actually occurs. If you’re facing assault charges, contact our Houston assault lawyer at Darrow Law Firm.
Additionally, according to Texas criminal law, assault can be charged if you:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause any type of bodily injury to another person (including your spouse or other family members)
- Intentionally or knowingly have or cause physical contact with someone else in a way that the person knows or reasonably believes that the contact will be regarded as offensive or provocative
So not only can you be charged with assault for punching, kicking, choking, or otherwise harming someone during a fight, but if you simply poke a person in the chest, or just tell that person that you are going to beat them up or harm them in any way, and that person has a reasonable fear that you are able and intentional about doing it, you can be charged with assault.
Simple Assault in the State of Texas
Generally, if a person makes violent or offensive contact with another individual, that person can wind up in court fighting assault charges, even if there was only a threat to do so. For a first time offender, the penalty might be considered a misdemeanor, but even a misdemeanor assault charge can still result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000. When an assault accusation includes the choking of or impeding of another person’s breathing, however, the aggressor may be charged with a third-degree felony, carrying a sentence between 2 and 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Class A Misdemeanor: Assault where the offender causes bodily injury to the victim will be considered a Class A misdemeanor except in certain circumstances. In Texas “bodily injury” is defined as “pain.” Therefore, any report of pain by the complaining witness can be probable cause for an arrest for Class A assault.
The assault will be considered a third degree felony if:
- the offender knows the victim is a public servant, government worker, a security officer, emergency services personnel, or volunteer (such as a firefighter or EMT), and the victim is performing his or her duties at the time of the assault, or
- the offender assaults the victim in retaliation for performance of his duties.
Class C Misdemeanor: Simple assault involving threats of physical harm or contact that is offensive is normally a Class C misdemeanor, except in certain circumstances, such as:
- if the victim is an elderly or disabled person (that crime is a Class A misdemeanor)
- if the offender knows the victim is an athlete or sports official participating in a sporting event at the time of the assault (that crime is a Class B misdemeanor), or
- if the offender assaults the victim (such as an athlete or sports official) in retaliation for his performance in an athletic event (that crime is also a Class B misdemeanor).
An assault is considered a domestic assault or “family violence” in the state of Texas if the offender and victim are family or members of the same household. This includes spouses or former spouses, adults who are related by blood or marriage, persons who live together, and those who are or were engaged in a romantic or intimate relationship. Domestic assault in Texas can either be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances, as well as on the offender’s criminal history.
Penalties for Simple Assault in Texas
A person convicted of a misdemeanor assault in the state of Texas faces the following possible penalties:
- Class A misdemeanor: up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4000, or both
- Class B misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail or a fine up to $2000, or both, and
- Class C misdemeanor: a fine up to $500.
Call the Houston Law Office of Paul Darrow Today
If you have been involved in an incident like any of those described above, your intentions may have been misunderstood or the person involved may be falsely accusing you of something you did not do. In either case, legal representation may be the needed course of action to protect yourself. Whatever the case, being accused of assault can be a nightmare.
In the state of Texas, many different categories of assault exist, each with a unique set of consequences for the person accused. This can be unsettling, to say the least, when a person is trying to understand what he or she is up against. You need expert legal representation to help you navigate the complex legal challenges before you; Houston defense attorney Paul Darrow is here to help.
Paul’s experience as a former prosecutor brings a wealth of experience to his practice as a criminal defense attorney and gives him the advantage when it comes to achieving the best results for his clients. When it comes to defending those who are facing the serious consequences of a criminal charge conviction, he is the best one to have on your defense team. If you are facing charges of a federal crime, make sure you have the best defense team available. Contact the law office of Paul Darrow today at (713) 641-5300.