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Assault charges on an officer in Texas are not always quite what they seem. It is possible that the officer was being overly aggressive and threatening, or that a person was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Regardless of the circumstances, a person may want to consult an El Paso assault on an officer lawyer.
When someone is charged with assault on an officer, an experienced defense attorney could help review the case. This may include interviewing witnesses, reviewing the police report, and possibly providing legal representation during court proceedings.
Laws Governing Assault on an Officer
Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b), individuals commit assault when they intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly cause bodily injury to another. This typically includes threatening another with imminent bodily injury or causing physical contact with another when they reasonably should know that the other individual may consider the contact offensive or provocative.
The assault law also encompasses assaults on officers, as well as aggravated assaults. Individuals commit aggravated assault under Texas Penal Code §22.02(a)(1)-(2) in either of the following two situations:
- The individual causes serious bodily injury to another
- The individual exhibits or uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault
While normal assault charges do not require any bodily contact, aggravated assault charges generally require that there be serious bodily injury arising from the assault. Texas Penal Code §1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as bodily injury that results in serious risk of death or death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Consequences Someone in El Paso Could Face
Normally, an assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b)(1). However, the charge is commonly elevated to a felony of the third-degree when one of the following situations is present:
- The person is a public servant performing an official duty or the incident is in retaliation for the public servant performing an official duty
- The person is a security guard performing an employment-related duty
- The person is emergency services personnel providing emergency services
For a felony of the third-degree, the potential penalty ranges from two to ten years in prison, as well as a fine up to $10,000. In each of these situations, the elevated charge is based on the fact that the individual causing the incident knew that the person was a public servant, security guard, or emergency services personnel.
Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(d), Texas law presumes that individuals know that the other parties are public servants, security guards, or emergency services personnel if they are wearing a distinctive uniform and/or badge for the purposes of their official duties.
On the other hand, aggravated assault is a felony of the second-degree under Texas law. However, aggravated assault can also be a felony of the first-degree under some circumstances.
This is the case when the individual is a public servant acting in an official capacity, the alleged victim is a public servant acting in an official capacity, or the injured party is a security officer acting in the scope of employment.
With respect to aggravated assault, under Texas Penal Code §12.33, a felony of the second-degree can result in imprisonment from two to 20 years and up to a $10,000 fine. A felony of the first-degree can result in life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact an El Paso Assault on an Officer Attorney
Assault on an officer can be an incredibly intimidating charge to face. A person may not know what step they should take next and could feel that they have very limited options. Consult an adept attorney who has experience handling El Paso assault on an officer cases. They could work with you to build a strong defense.
Attempting to handle such a case without legal representation could significantly limit a person’s freedom. Allow a seasoned El Paso defense lawyers to advocate on behalf. Call today to get started.