One of the worst aspects of facing an assault charge is the potential of being labeled a violent person. If that were to happen, your future career could be at stake, as many employers will not hire people who are deemed to have a violent past. What may seem like a simple fight you were involved in can have severe lifelong consequences. We understand what you are facing and know how to effectively defend assault allegations.
When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience working with assault cases in your corner. We will be meticulous in our investigation, making sure every aspect of what happened is thoroughly covered to ensure the most effective defense is put forward. Now is the time to be proactive to ensure your future is protected. Call us at 214-741-4000 for immediate help.
What is Assault
According to the Texas Penal Code 22.01, there are three ways in which a person can be charged with assault. A person commits an offense if the person:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another person with bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact is offensive or provocative.
We Know Texas Assault Defense and Are Ready to Defend You
We have 25 years of experience with assault cases. Rarely is the person claiming to have been assaulted completely devoid of guilt. Most assaults are a culmination of events with two people in which angry emotions escalate with one person striking out at the other. When defending someone accused of assault, here are some of the defenses we investigate:
- Self defense.
- Victim lying.
- Self inflicted wound.
- Defense of others.
- Defense of property.
- Injuries occurred, but not by you.
- Lack of mental state.
This is probably the most common defense used in assault cases. A person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree that they reasonably believe the force is immediately necessary to protect themself against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. In claiming self defense, you do not have to wait until the other person uses any force against you. Your perception that it is about to happen is enough to defend yourself.
Not every assault results in visible markings. All a person has to claim is that the other person caused pain. People are known to say, “if you touch me, I will call the police” and when they do call, they completely oversell what happened, or just make up enough to try and get someone arrested.
Self Inflicted Wound
When injuries are visible, the next question is: how did they get there? This is especially true in family violence cases when the marriage is deteriorating and there is an anticipated custody battle or when a dating relationship is coming to an end. People have accidentally (slip and fall during an argument) or intentionally hurt or bruised themselves and when the police arrive, tell them the other person caused the injury. The police do not really know what happened but, seeing an injury, automatically take the other person to jail.
Defense of Others:
Legally you can come to the aid of another to defend them. You are justified in using force against another to defend a third person if you reasonably believe you would be justified in using force to defend yourself against the unlawful force you reasonably believe to be threatening the third person you seek to protect. Deadly force can also be used in these types of situations.
Defense of Property
If you are in legal possession of property, you are justified in using force against another when and to the degree you reasonably believe the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass or unlawful interference with the property. This can also justify the use of deadly force.
A person cannot provoke you into assaulting them and then fight you claiming self defense. If you are provoked, there must be evidence that:
- The person did some act or use some words that provoked the attack;
- That such act or words were reasonably calculated to provoke the attack; and
- That the act was done or the words were used for the purpose and with the intent that the defendant would have a pretext for inflicting harm upon the other.
It is an affirmative to an assault charge that you engaged in the assault because you were compelled to do so by threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to you or another. Compulsion only applies if the force or threat of force would render a person of reasonable firmness incapable of resisting the pressure.
Conduct is justified if the person reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm and the desirability or urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law prescribing the conduct.
Lack of Mental State
In any assault the person has to either intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, cause the injury. Imagine you are in an argument with another person, are tired of it, and decide to leave. You walk out the door and slam it behind you. However, you did not know the other person wanted to continue to argue and was following you. The door hits and injures them and they call the police. You did not possess one of the required mental states and this is nothing more than an accident. However, when the police arrive and see injuries, expect to be arrested and be compelled to defend yourself.
The most effective defenses to assault charges lie in clients’ perception of what was going on. It is the client’s perception of the situation that causes them to act in the way they did. We always listen to our clients’ side of the story and try to put ourselves in their shoes. It is our clients’ perception of the events that matters to us. We will leave no stone unturned in finding the right defense for you.
Assault Penalties in Texas
A first time assault offense carries the following penalties:
- A jail sentence of up to a year.
- Probation for up to two years.
- A fine up to $4,000.
Charges are enhanced for victims that are on-duty public servants, emergency services personnel, or security officers. The same penalties apply for second or subsequent family violence offenses. If the offense meets enhanced criteria, the following penalties include:
- A prison sentence of 2-10 years.
- Probation up to 10 years.
- A fine up to $10,000.
Your Future Is Our Focus
Simple arguments can escalate quickly and people’s emotions can get the best of them. When someone is being overly aggressive towards you, you have the legal right to defend yourself and you do not have to retreat or try and run away. There are two sides to every story and we will make sure that we tell your side in the most effective way possible. When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, we know you are placing your trust and future in our hands, and that is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Call us at 214-741-4000 and let us fight for you.