If you were charged with an assault offense, you need to understand that you may be facing a lengthy jail sentence and a permanent criminal record. If you want to give yourself the best chance of effectively protecting your rights and interests, you may want to consult a Frisco assault lawyer.
There are defenses available in assault cases, but their applicability often depends on the specific facts. A detail-oriented defense lawyer could work with you to develop the strongest defense possible to the charges.
Situations Resulting in Assault Charges
Assault charges can arise from a variety of situations, some of which may involve serious physical contact or injuries to others and others that may involve only heated arguments and threats. As a result, these charges often are based on allegations of:
- Threats or violence against family or household members
- Choking or suffocation
- Sexual assault offenses
- Threats or violence with a deadly weapon
All these offenses have different elements and some carry more substantial charges and penalties than others. Individuals who are charged with assault may face felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on the situation.
Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01 defines the general criminal offense of assault, which can include infliction and threats of physical harm. All variations of assault require purposeful or reckless actions that are designed to hurt, intimidate, or otherwise provoke others, regardless of whether they result in an injury.
While an assault charge stemming from an altercation resulting in physical injuries is relatively straightforward, a charge arising from verbal threats or offensive contact is not always so simple. Determining whether threats and physical contact rise to the level of an assault can be difficult and extremely fact-sensitive, which may make working with a Frisco assault attorney beneficial.
Potential Repercussions in Frisco
General assault is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of incarceration for as long as one year and a fine of as much as $4,000. There are certain circumstances, however, that can elevate an assault charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.
For example, if someone assaults security officers or correctional officers who are acting in the course of their official duties, then the offense becomes a second-degree felony. This can result in a prison sentence of two years to a maximum of ten years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Given the seriousness of this offense, representation by an assault lawyer in Frisco may be essential.
Other Felony Offenses
Some assaults involve such serious or dangerous acts that they automatically result in felony offenses. In addition to years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, a felony conviction may cause the loss of various civil rights, such as the right to possess or carry a firearm.
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault occurs when persons use or display a deadly weapon or cause serious bodily injury to others. Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, but it can be a first-degree felony if it involves a deadly weapon and results in serious injuries.
Assault that involves intentional sexual penetration or contact with others without their consent constitutes sexual assault under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.011. A lack of consent may exist due to physical force, threats of violence or harm, unconsciousness, or mental disease or defect. Sexual assault is generally a second-degree felony, although it can be a first-degree felony in some situations.
Work with a Frisco Assault Attorney
When you are charged with any type of assault, either a misdemeanor or a felony, you need to take the charges seriously and immediately consider the merits of retaining a Frisco assault lawyer. The stakes are high in an assault case, and legal advice can mean the difference between your freedom and spending years in prison.
Getting legal representation can ensure the protection of your rights through the criminal court process. You also can work toward developing the strongest defense that is available to you in your case. Call now to learn more.