A person can face assault charges in Texas if their actions intentionally or recklessly caused bodily harm to another person. These charges can stem from various situations, including hitting, pushing, kicking, or choking. Even the threat of harming someone physically can lead to an assault charge in Texas.
If you are convicted of an assault charge, you will have a criminal record that follows you and could adversely affect your future. Although you face these allegations, you have the legal right to hire a Texas assault lawyer who can challenge the charge against you and seek to get them reduced, dismissed, or dropped. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will review your legal options with you today during a free and private consultation.
How Texas Penal Code Ch 22.01 Defines Assault
The definition of assault is broad. Under Texas Penal Code Ch 22.01 – Assault, an individual commits misdemeanor assault if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Cause bodily injury to another
- Threaten bodily injury to another
- Cause physical contact with another, while knowing the action will be seen as provocative or offensive
If the assault was on specific subsets of people, you could be charged with aggravated assault. Examples include:
- Police officers
- Security personnel
- Emergency response personnel
- Elderly people
- People with disabilities
- Public servants
The charges can also be severe if aggravating factors exist, such as harming a family member or causing severe injuries that necessitate a hospital stay. Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony in Texas and can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
How Our Texas Assault Lawyer Will Defend Your Case
Hiring a criminal defense attorney to handle your assault case puts a legal advocate in your corner who will protect your rights, put your best defense forward, and explain how all laws and developments affect your case. There are several benefits to retaining an attorney when facing assault charges. For example, we can:
- Represent you in all legal proceedings and communications with authorities
- Review the facts and circumstances involved regarding the alleged assault
- Collect evidence available that supports your version of what happened
- Determine if law enforcement violated your rights in any way before, during, or after arresting you
- Negotiate with the prosecution to reduce, dismiss, or drop your charges
- Build a case that could lead to a court hearing and end a favorable ruling in your case
We will gladly answer all your questions and concerns and make sure you understand how the legal process works.
Possible Defenses to Assault Charges in Texas
We customize each client’s defense strategy according to the specifics in their case, but a few defenses commonly come up in assault cases. Below are three that could apply to your situation:
- Disputing the evidence: This involves invalidating the prosecution’s evidence based on the facts of your case. For example, we may assert that the state violated your civil rights or that your situation was a case of mistaken identity. We could also counter that the prosecutors failed to prove the charge or an element of the charge.
- Affirmative defense: If you admit to the offense but can offer evidence that legally justifies your actions, we could offer an affirmative defense to help get your charges reduced, the fines and penalties reduced, or the charge entirely dismissed.
- Self-defense: Self-defense is the act of using force to defend yourself. Texas allows citizens the right to defend themselves if feeling threatened. A lawyer could use this defense to explain their client’s actions, but they must show that the force used in self-defense was in proportion to the harm that was present or believed to be present. TX Penal Code § 9.31 – 9.33 are the provisions that address self-defense – they clarify when deadly force is justified and when it isn’t.
To be arrested on the spot by law enforcement for assault, the police must witness you in the act of assaulting someone. Otherwise, they may issue a citation for you to appear in court, or they may get an arrest warrant from a judge. However, if this was a domestic assault, the police would arrest you on the spot.
What Happens After a Texas Assault Arrest?
If you have been arrested on assault charges in Texas, you will have to appear before a judge or magistrate. They will read the charges and inform you of your rights, such as the right to have an attorney represent you.
You will also have the right to an examining trial, where the prosecution must establish the reasons for your arrest. The judge will inform you of your next court appearance and then set bail – or you may be released on your own recognizance. You may face one of the following:
- Class C misdemeanor for threatening bodily harm or offensive physical contact
- Class B misdemeanor for assaulting a sports participant
- Class A misdemeanor for causing bodily injury to an elderly person
- Third-degree felony for assaulting a family member or other protected status individuals (This also includes intoxicated assault, assaulting someone while intoxicated.)
- Second-degree felony for assaulting a family member by choking them
- First-degree felony for aggravated assault against a domestic partner or other protected status individuals
- Aggravated assault if the injuries were severe, or a weapon was used in the commission of the assault
An Arraignment Involving a Texas Assault Charge
The arraignment is your first court hearing after receiving charges, where you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. At this point, your attorney or the prosecution may ask for a continuance to further investigate your case. If you and your attorney decide to request a plea deal for reduced charges, and the decision remains unclear, your case will proceed to a trial.
The Trial After an Assault Charge
A misdemeanor case has six jurors, while a felony case has 12 jurors. The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are convicted, the fines and penalties may be:
- Up to $500 for a Class C misdemeanor
- Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for a Class B misdemeanor
- Up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 for a Class A misdemeanor
- Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a third-degree felony
- From 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a second-degree felony
- From 5 years to life in prison plus a fine set by the judge
Wherever you are in the legal process, our assault defense team will be there with you. Throughout all stages of your case, we will offer guidance and advise you on what to expect and what your options are. We are transparent with our clients, giving them straightforward counsel.
Results of Our Recent Assault Cases in Texas
We will always set out to get the most favorable outcome for your case. Here are some results from assault cases we have handled for our clients:
- Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon – Deferred Probation
- Assault Motion for Speedy Trial – Granted and Case Dismissed
- Aggravated Assault of Public Servant – Deferred Probation
- Assault Causing Bodily Injury Family Violence – Dismissed
Our Past Clients Know What We’re All About
We take each and every client’s case seriously, listening to their concerns and helping them understand what’s a stake. Our attorneys have helped many clients start their lives anew after their legal battles. Here are a few testimonials from people we have defended:
- “The Isenberg law offices are filled with professionals who take every case and client seriously, as if they’re going up to bat for their own family members. Our family will look only to Isenberg whenever we need a great lawyer.” – Christopher
- “There’s a reason Randall Isenberg was listed among the ‘Best Lawyers in Dallas‘ by D Magazine. He truly is at the top in his field. Having true representation by a former state district judge, with all his experience, was worth every penny I spent on my defense. I’ve seen friends sold down river by court appointed attorneys, and I thank God that I didn’t have to take that path.” – Arnold
- “They really know how to do their job right. And will get you the best deal possible…” – Julia Ann Murchison
Call Us to Get Started on Your Texas Assault Case Today
If you have been arrested on a simple assault charge or a felony assault charge in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, or the surrounding area, our assault attorney is ready to hear about your potential case.
Don’t delay, as the clock on your case is ticking. Call the legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 to learn more about your legal options and next steps during a free consultation.