Assault is one of the most serious criminal charges an individual can face. The Texas Penal Code provides for penalties ranging from steep fines to years in jail depending upon the severity and circumstances surrounding the incident and the parties involved. It is a safe bet that a person facing assault charges will not be treated leniently. That is when choosing an experienced Abilene assault lawyer can make all the difference.
Given the personal stakes involved, there is no reason for attempting to defend one’s self in court without the assistance of a seasoned assault defense lawyer. Beyond the criminal consequences, an assault charge can have grave repercussions in terms of a person’s career, their social relationships, and their reputation in the community. In addition to the criminal penalties, there may be civil lawsuits on top of the criminal charges. An assault charge cannot be taken lightly, and the lawyer you choose can make all the difference.
Assault Laws in Texas
Under the Texas Penal Code, assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing injury to another person, including a spouse. Importantly, a person does not need to actually cause injury to another person in order to be charged and convicted of assault. Intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury is sufficient for a charge.
Assault law violations in Abilene are generally classified as Class A misdemeanors. If a person is found guilty, they are subject to a fine not to exceed $4,000, jail time of up to a year, or both a fine and jail time. If the accuser of the assault is a civil servant, a police officer, a family member, or shared a dating relationship with the accused, the charge may be elevated to a felony in the third degree, with jail time ranging from two to 10 years.
Aggravating factors can also elevate assault from a misdemeanor to a felony in the second degree. Penalties range from two to 20 years in prison, and fines up to $10,000. If an individual uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault, the charge will be elevated to a felony.
Simply brandishing a deadly weapon, without using it, is grounds for a felony charge. A felony is also possible if the assault results in serious bodily injury.
Contact an Abilene Assault Attorney
An Abilene assault lawyer will analyze all the circumstances of your case to determine the extent of your possible culpability and the best avenue through which to defend against the charges. A lawyer can help you understand the nature of the charges against you and any potential defenses that may be available in limited circumstances, such as consent. The penalties discussed above should make clear that an individual facing assault charges must enlist the assistance of a vigorous and knowledgeable advocate.
Only an attorney versed in the intricacies of the Texas Penal Code and assault law can fully defend and secure a person facing these charges, and perhaps get the charges or penalties significantly reduced. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault, reach out to an Abilene assault lawyer as soon as possible.