Criminal charges for assault may stem from bar fights, domestic disputes, or any kind of inappropriate physical contact. Depending on the individuals involved, the severity of the force used, and the nature of the harm inflicted, a simple assault charge can lead to far more severe charges and penalties. As a result, if you are facing assault accusations, it may be in your best interest to contact a Frisco assault lawyer for advice as quickly as possible following an arrest.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to investigate the facts that led to your arrest and build a strong defense. With the help of legal counsel, you could avoid some of the harshest possible penalties.
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01, “assault” encompasses the traditional elements of both battery and assault. Therefore, assault in the state of Texas includes not only threats of bodily harm to others (traditional assault), but also the infliction of physical harm (traditional battery). According to this code section, an assault occurs when individuals:
Generally, assault is a Class A misdemeanor, but it can also be a felony offense, depending on the circumstances. For a Class A misdemeanor conviction, individuals may face a maximum one-year jail sentence and up to a $4,000 fine.
Simple assault becomes a third-degree felony offense if the defendant faces charges for a domestic assault and has a prior assault conviction against a specific family or household member. Third-degree felony charges may also result if the target of the assault is an emergency services personnel, security guard, or government contractor. A third-degree felony conviction may result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and up to a $10,000 fine.
A simple assault increases to aggravated assault under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02 if the perpetrator utilizes or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of committing assault, or if they inflict serious bodily injury on others. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 1.07(46), serious bodily injury refers to severe injuries, such as those that result in or pose a significant risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or protracted impairment of bodily functions.
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, which can result in a two to 20-year prison term and up to a $10,000 fine. A felony conviction may also cause the loss of some civil rights, such as the right to hold public office, serve on a jury, and own firearms.
Aggravated assault may become a first-degree felony in some circumstances, such as where individuals use deadly weapons to inflict serious bodily injury on particular family or household members, or if individuals commit assault against public servants whom they know are acting within the scope of their official duties or against security guards in the course of their employment. An assault attorney in Frisco could be instrumental in effectively defending against aggravated assault charges.
Even if you face only misdemeanor charges, the repercussions can be severe, including lengthy jail sentences. It could very well be in your best interest to contact a Frisco assault lawyer for help. An experienced attorney could work to build a strong defense and preserve your future. When your future is on the line, contact the Wilder Law Firm and let us fight for you!