In Texas, criminal charges of violence are referred to as “assault”. Assault cases are a high priority prosecution matter in Houston making representation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer paramount.
This reigns even more true if a weapon was used during the assault, or the victim suffered an injury as a result of being assaulted. Depending on the circumstances of the assaultive action, the classification of the crime could fall under that of a felony, or a misdemeanor.
Definition of “Assault” Per Texas Law
The definition of assault is widely susceptible to interpretation of law enforcement, however, Texas Law does offer some guidelines when it comes to identifying assaultive offenses.
- (a) A person commits an offense if the person:
- (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
- (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
- (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
- (b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed against:
- (1) a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant;
- (2) a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021 (b), 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code, if: …
As you can see from reading the law, you don’t have to make physical contact with the victim to be arrested for assault. As far as the letter of the law is concerned, slightly pushing someone or making verbal threats can constitute an action worthy of assault charges that could result in an arrest by police or Sheriff’s deputies.
Click Here for more information on criminal offenses involving sexual assault.
Assault becomes an aggravated crime if the victim is a senior citizen, disabled, a law enforcement officer, a prison guard, a person working on emergency response teams, and security guards. Aggravated assault will also be charged if the accused offender used a deadly weapon, attempted to strangle their victim, or has a prior conviction for assault on their background.
All cases of aggravated assault are classified as felonies and carry a potential prison sentence of 2 to 10 years with possible fines of up to 10,000.00.
Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
Facing prison time as a result of being convicted for assault, or aggravated assault, can be life changing in every way.
Regardless of the witness and the details of the case, talking to attorney Tad Nelson, Amber Spurlock, or another highly qualified criminal defense attorney in Houston can mean the difference between getting probation, a light sentence, and serving up to 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice controlled correctional facility.
If you need to talk with a lawyer about defending you against criminal charges related to assault, aggravated assault, family violence, or domestic assault, call Tad Nelson & Associates immediately by calling 713-659-0909.