Assault charges are often misunderstood by the public, given the varying definitions of the crime “assault” in different states. Without an experienced legal team on your side, it is easy to misunderstand the criminal implications. In some states, assault is a separate charge from battery, while in other states (like Texas), assault includes battery as well. Additionally, assault can also be something as unintentional as simply brushing against someone in a crowded bus. An arrest can initially occur based on minor allegations and it takes a trial or a minimum of negotiations with the prosecution or the court to reach dismissal or an appropriate resolution if an assault occurred. A Houston assault conviction relies upon the intention of the actor. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Houston assault defense lawyer from Mary E. Conn & Associates as soon as possible after your arrest for assault.
The Texas penal code separates assault into both ordinary assault and aggravated assault, each of which carries a different definition and punishment range.
The crime of assault in Houston, Texas, is defined as:
“…intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when the person knew or should have reasonably believed that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
This definition can leave the crime open to many interpretations, such as when certain contact rises to the level of offensive or provocative.
Reckless driving falls within the general definition of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is additionally considered a lesser offense of attempted murder. An experienced Houston assault defense attorney will assist you in understanding the different crimes which may fall within aggravated assault and assault.
In Texas, assault charges can encompass a range of offenses, each with its own degree of severity and potential consequences, including the following:
It’s important to note the above descriptions provide a general overview of the types of assault charges in Texas. The specific elements of each charge and their associated penalties can vary based on the circumstances of the case. If you’re facing assault charges, seek the legal counsel of Mary E. Conn & Associates to understand the specific implications and potential defenses available to you. An assault defense lawyer in Houston is just a phone call away.
Ordinary Houston assault is a Class A misdemeanor, although may sometimes reach the level of a third degree felony in specific situations, such as when the assault is against a public servant. A Class A misdemeanor is a lower offense than a felony, and carries with it a punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Read more on the the different classifications of Misdemeanors. A third degree felony, on the other hand, is a more severe offense. Felony convictions have a lasting impact on a person’s ability to find gainful employment, vote in general elections, and even maintain custody of their children. A third degree felony has a punishment range of 2-10 years in prison with a potential fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated assault is a second degree felony, and similarly may reach the level of a first degree felony in specific situations, such as against a public servant. A first degree felony has a punishment range of either life or 5-99 years in prison. A first degree felony conviction may also include up to a $10,000 fine.
Of course, assaults in Houston can range from a Class C misdemeanor assault, which could be any minor touching of any kind, up to a capital murder charge, and everything in between. There are Class B assaults, First, Second and Third Degree Felony assaults, each building upon the intent, the act, and the result of each individual situation. This is why you need the experienced Houston assault defense lawyers to represent you, to avoid more serious penalties for minor infractions.
The following are common defenses that may be used in assault charge cases, depending on the circumstances of the incident:
Call the lawyers at Mary E. Conn & Associates to determine the best strategy for your tailored defense.
If you have been arrested on charges of assault in Houston, do not hesitate to contact Mary E. Conn & Associates. Our experienced legal team has spent years defending Houston clients against criminal charges, including assault. Assault charges in Houston and surrounding areas are often based on the testimony of one victim or witness, so many different interpretations can exist regarding what actually took place. An assault arrest is not yet a conviction, and our criminal defense lawyers fight tirelessly to ensure your facts are accurately presented to the judge and jury.
Contact one of our dedicated Houston assault defense lawyers at our Houston office today for your initial free consultation at (713) 357-4190 or fill out a contact form. Our firm is located just twenty minutes from the Harris County Courthouse.