Few crimes come to mind more frequently than “Assault” when a person is trying to come up with unlawful acts. Assaults, being violent offenses, can carry even more serious lifelong consequences than many non-violent offenses, and the penalties upon conviction can be steep for certain repeat offenders, or where the victim belongs to certain classes of individuals.
Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code defines the offense of Assault as:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
An offense under Section 22.01(a)(1) is typically a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $4,000.00 fine, while an offense under Section 22.01(a)(2) or (a)(3) is typically a Class C Misdemeanor. Depending on the circumstances of the assault, these offenses can be enhanced either to a higher level misdemeanor or, in the case of Assault w/ bodily injury, can be enhanced to a Felony.
Particular care should be taken in the case the assault involves causing bodily injury to a family member, as a conviction may result in the defendant permanently losing his or her right to own firearms under federal law, and repeat offenders face a felony conviction.
If serious bodily injury is inflicted during the course of an assault, or a deadly weapon is used during the course of an assault, as assault is defined above, then the offense is an Aggravated Assault, as defined by Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, which states that:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person commits assault as defined in Sec. 22.01 and the person:
(1) causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or
(2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
An Aggravated Assault is by default a 2nd Degree Felony, and various circumstances, including inflicting serious bodily injury to a family member, can enhance this offense up to a 1st Degree Felony.
How I can Help.
If you or a loved one are charged with an assault, particularly an assault against a family member, an elderly person, a child, or public servant, you need an attorney experienced in representing those accused of such crimes. A competent attorney can, through proper investigation and analysis of the case, obtain deals from the prosecution that reduce the impact that violent offenses can have on one’s life, even obtaining straight dismissals in many circumstances. I have extensive experience representing individuals accused of assaulting their spouses, girlfriends, and children across Central Texas, and I would love to bring my experience to help you or your loved one. Please contact my office at (512) 689-4299 to setup an appointment for a consultation.