Assault can be a serious crime in the state of Texas, and can result in severe penalties. In Texas, the law defines assault as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person or threatening someone with imminent bodily injury. It is essential to understand the intricacies of the assault law in Texas and to be able to defend clients who are facing assault charges.
Penalties for Assault in Texas
Assault charges in Texas are classified as either misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the severity of the offense. Simple assault, which is the least severe form of assault, is considered a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. The maximum punishment for this offense is a fine of up to $500.
Assaults that involve bodily injury, a deadly weapon, or family violence are classified as felony offenses. The punishment for these offenses can range from a minimum of two years in prison to a maximum of life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and the criminal history of the offender.
Defenses for Assault Charges
There are several defenses that a criminal defense lawyer can use to defend a client facing assault charges in Texas. The most common defenses include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, and consent.
Self-defense is a commonly used defense in assault cases in Texas. According to the law, a person has the right to use force against another person if they believe that the other person is using or threatening to use unlawful force against them. In such cases, the defendant must prove that they acted in self-defense and that the force they used was necessary and reasonable.
Defense of others is another defense that can be used in assault cases. If the defendant believed that they needed to use force to protect someone else from harm, they may be able to argue that their actions were justified.
Defense of property is a defense that can be used when the defendant believes that they needed to use force to protect their property. However, this defense is limited to situations where the defendant reasonably believed that their property was in imminent danger of being damaged or stolen.
Consent is a defense that can be used in cases where the alleged victim consented to the defendant's actions. For example, if the alleged victim consented to a physical altercation, the defendant may be able to argue that their actions were consensual. This is a common defense we raise in fighting cases.
Once we raise any of these defenses, the burden shifts to the prosecution to attempt to disprove the defense.
Assault charges in Texas can have severe consequences, and it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side if you are facing assault charges. A skilled lawyer can help you understand the charges against you, build a strong defense, and work to mitigate the potential consequences of a conviction. If you are facing assault charges in Texas, contact our office as soon as possible to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome for your case.