Conviction on Texas assault or murder charges can put you in prison for the rest of your life. You should find a lawyer as soon as possible, even if the state has not yet filed charges.
A murder and assault lawyer in Garland can negotiate with the prosecutor to help you avoid charges. Or, if the state has already filed murder or assault charges, your lawyer can negotiate for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. If the prosecutor refuses to dismiss or reduce your charges, your criminal defense lawyer can mount a robust defense in court.
In Garland, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can protect your legal rights and work for the best outcome in your case. Contact us today at 214-696-9253 for help.
How Does Texas Define Assault and Murder?
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) defines assault and murder in two different sections of the code.
You will find the definition of assault in Title 5, Chapter 22, of the TPC, Assaultive Offenses.
You may face assault charges if you do any of the following:
- Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally cause bodily injury to someone else
- Knowingly or intentionally threaten someone else with bodily injury
- Knowingly or intentionally engage in physical contact with someone knowing it may provoke them
Included in the definition for assaultive offenses are also the following crimes:
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Child abandonment
- Child endangerment
- Injury to a child, a disabled person, or an elderly person
You will find the definition of murder in Title 5, Chapter 19 of the TPC, Criminal Homicide. Also included with criminal homicide are the crimes of murder, capital murder, criminally negligent homicide, and manslaughter.
In Texas, you commit murder if you do any of the following:
- Intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another person
- Cause someone’s death while committing an act intended to cause bodily harm to another person
- Cause someone’s death while committing a felony (non-manslaughter) or while fleeing from committing a non-manslaughter felony
If the prosecutor accuses you of committing multiple murders, committing murder for monetary gain, or killing a police officer, firefighter, or other first responder, the state can try you on capital murder charges, which makes you eligible for the death penalty in Texas.
What Are the Penalties for Murder and Assault in Texas?
The TPC sets forth the penalties for murder and assault in Title 3, Chapter 12. Respectively, those punishments are as follows.
Murder carries first-degree felony charges in Texas. Upon conviction, you may face a sentence from 5 to 99 years (or life) in prison and a monetary fine as high as $10,000.
Upon conviction for capital murder, you will face a life sentence in prison with no possibility of parole. The prosecutor may also elect to pursue the death penalty for a capital murder conviction.
Simple assault carries class A misdemeanor charges, at least in most cases. Upon conviction for assault, you will face up to one year in county jail and a monetary fine as high as $4,000.
Assault may qualify as a third-degree felony if the victim was any of the following:
- Police officer
- Public employee
- Family court employee or guardian
- Security guard
- Former spouse
- Family member
- Member of your household (even a roommate)
- Romantic partner
- Someone you dated
Upon conviction for a third-degree felony, you will face from 2 to 10 years in prison and a monetary fine as high as $10,000.
If the prosecutor can attach aggravated circumstances to your assault charges, you may face second-degree felony charges. Upon conviction for a second-degree felony, you will face 2 to 20 years in prison and a monetary fine as high as $10,000.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Assault or Murder Charges?
A lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can protect your legal rights and ensure that the prosecutor does not take advantage of your desperate situation. Assault and murder charges both require a very high burden of proof from the state, giving us plenty of opportunities to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.
In many cases, we can negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a dismissal. And, if you must fight your case in court, we can identify potential defense strategies and build a strong case to present to the judge and jury.
Some possible strategies include self-defense and defense of another person. We may also identify any potential illegalities in the way the police handled your arrest, and use this to challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
If we can establish even a hint of reasonable doubt, it may open the door to the dismissal of charges or a not guilty verdict in court.
Do I Still Need a Lawyer if the State Has Not Filed Charges Yet?
Yes. Given the opportunity to get in front of potential criminal charges, your lawyer can identify evidence that may exonerate you — or at least establish doubt regarding your guilt.
The best possible outcome for you is to never face charges on a serious crime such as murder or assault.
To accomplish this, Randall Isenberg might consult with forensic experts, talk to witnesses, and identify any potential strategies to persuade the prosecutor to discontinue the investigation into any potential crimes.
And, if the prosecutor does move forward with criminal charges, Randall will be there to protect your legal rights at all times.
Schedule Your FREE Consultation With Randall B. Isenberg Today.
A local criminal defense attorney will know the local court system, the judges, and the prosecutors. He will understand the intricacies of the harsh murder and assault laws in Texas and how to work within those laws to improve the outcome of your case.
And, when you work with the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg you get the added benefit of an attorney who spent more than 30 years working within the Texas legal system, including time spent as a state judge and felony prosecutor. He can put this experience to work for you as you prepare to fight for your future freedom.
We provide a free consultation and case review for clients who face assault or murder charges to explain your options and help you choose the right path for your future. Contact us today to schedule an appointment: 214-696-9253.