There are several assault offenses in Texas. Click the links below to jump-to the information you need.
Aggravated assault is usually a felony of the second degree; the punishment range is from probation to twenty years (20) in prison.
Aggravated assault can include shooting or stabbing a person; or threatening a person with a deadly weapon like a knife or a gun.
Aggravated assault can also include causing serious bodily injury to someone. Serious bodily injury means injury that creates a risk of death; serious or permanent disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment.
Whether or not the injury is “serious” is debatable and must be proven by the state.
There are several defenses to aggravated assault charges. Some defenses to aggravated assault include:
There may be other issues with the state’s case. For example, there may not be eyewitnesses, or the identifications made by the eyewitnesses may be challenged.
The state may not have recovered the weapon. The complainant may lack credibility or have had a reason to fabricate the charges.
Aggravated assault cases are taken seriously by prosecutors because of the violence caused or threatened.
Typically, misdemeanor assault is defined as causing bodily injury to another person. Texas law defines “bodily injury” as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
This definition of bodily injury is broad—the complaining witness does not need a visible injury for the state to charge a person with assault.
This type of misdemeanor assault is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail and a $4000 fine.
There are several defenses to assault charges in Texas. Some defenses include:
Never plead guilty to assault without a thorough investigation of the state’s case.
Assault family violence is typically a Class A misdemeanor, which means the punishment range can include probation up to one (1) year in jail.
Many employers will disqualify applicants with domestic violence records.
Assault family violence is typically charged as causing bodily injury to a family member. Family violence also includes dating relationships.
Prosecutors treat assault family violence cases seriously. So does the law—a second assault family violence charge is bumped up to a felony charge. In Texas, an assault family violence deferred adjudication can never be removed from a criminal history.
Defending an assault family violence charge requires a thorough evaluation of the facts of the case. For example, is there a 911 call from the complaining witness? Can it be kept out of evidence?
Are there are any injuries? Is self-defense or “mutual combat” an issue? Does the complaining witness want to cooperate with the prosecution? Does the complaining witness have a reason to make up the charge? Are there any other witnesses to the alleged assault?
If you need an attorney for your assault case, please contact me or call (713) 487-7575.