The penalties for assault in Irving, Texas, vary depending upon specific details of the offense. The state identifies six different types of assault, and each carries its own level of penalties.
General Definition of Assault in Texas
The Texas Penal Code defines assault as an action wherein you commit one of the following acts:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to someone else, including your spouse;
- Intentionally or knowingly threaten someone else, including your spouse, with imminent bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
This definition establishes the basic criteria for assault. The details for an assault offense determine the penalty for the offense.
Misdemeanor Assault Definitions and Penalties
A simple assault that causes a minor injury in Irving, Texas, is considered a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for this level of crime is to serve a maximum of one year in county jail and/or paying a fine of no more than $4,000.
A Class B misdemeanor comes into play when you assault a sports official. This offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Texas law does not require that you touch someone to be charged with assault. If you are found to have threatened a person with bodily harm but do not actually carry out the threat, you can still be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. The same charge holds true if you physically touch a person in a way that is either offensive or provocative. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $500.
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Felony Assault Definition and Penalties
In some cases of penalties for assault in Irving, Texas, the prosecutor will try to elevate a simple assault to a third-degree felony. To do so they will need to prove that you:
- Have a previous domestic violence conviction, and you committed assault against a family member or another individual with whom you are engaged in a romantic relationship;
- Knowingly assaulted a public servant or government contractor as they were in the midst of performing official duties or you assaulted a public servant as a form of retaliation for performing the duties required of him; or
- Knowingly assaulted a security guard or emergency services employee as he was performing work duties.
Felony assaults in Irving, Texas, carry a penalty of two to 10 years in a Texas prison and/or a fine, not to exceed $10,000.
If you are convicted of simple assault in Texas, you may have to pay restitution. This involves reimbursing the assault victim for the expenses they incurred as a result of the assault. Examples of related expenses include medical costs, counseling, and the repair or replacement of property damaged in the assault.
Alternatives to Jail or Prison Sentences
In the case of simple assault, Texas law does include provisions for alternatives to serving a jail or prison sentence.
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You can plead guilty to the charge of simple assault, in exchange for which your sentencing is postponed. During the conditional period, you will be required to adhere to rules of probation, not be arrested or engage in any criminal activities, pay restitution, and/or perform acts of community service. Meeting all the court’s conditions will result in the court dismissing the case and discharging you, although your arrest, deferral, and dismissal remain on your criminal record. If you fail to satisfy the court’s conditions, it will impose its sentence and enter a conviction.
The court can grant community supervision (probation) whether you are found or you plead guilty. This option is granted at the court’s discretion and can serve as an alternative to jail or prison time for up to two years (misdemeanor) and up to 10 years (felony).
Possibly, the court will require that you serve some portion of time (30 days for a misdemeanor charge and 180 days for a felony charge) before you begin your probation. Typical terms of probation include:
- Meeting with a probation officer;
- Paying probation costs;
- Complying with treatment, employment, curfews, drug tests; and
- Avoiding further arrests and criminal offense.
If you violate the terms of your probation the court can compel you to complete your jail or prison sentence.
Hiring a Lawyer to Represent You in Your Assault Charge in Irving, Texas
In Texas, the penalties for assault are stiff, and once you are convicted of an assault it becomes part of your criminal record. This means that the next time around your prior conviction might encourage a harsher sentence.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offer you distinctive representation. As a former prosecutor and state district judge, Randall B. Isenberg understands the criminal prosecution process from all three angles. This unique perspective will give you a well-rounded representation that can make the difference in the outcome of your assault charge. Call 214-696-9253 today for a free case review.