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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
If charged with a crime, it is important to understand the charges and potential implications of conviction. Unlike civil lawsuits, criminal lawsuits involve a different burden of proof – the alleged criminal must be proved to have committed the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have been charged with assault in Texas, it is important to know and protect your legal rights. Contacting an experienced Midland misdemeanor assault attorney may be the best chance at protecting your rights. A knowledgeable defense lawyer in Midland can build a defense to help lessen any potential consequences you may be facing.
The definition of assault can be found in §22.01 of the Texas Penal Code. In Texas, an individual can commit an assault by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another individual or that individual’s spouse. It is also an assault to intentionally or knowingly threaten another person (or their spouse) with imminent bodily injury.
In addition, a person may have committed an assault if they intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with another when the person either knows or should reasonably believe that the other will view the contact as offensive or provocative. To best understand the nuances associated with the crime, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Midland misdemeanor assault lawyer.
The crime of assault has an intent requirement. The individual who commits the assault must have intended to cause bodily harm to the other person. An experienced misdemeanor assault lawyer in Midland may be able to argue that the intent requirement was not met and ultimately get the case thrown out. Or, in the alternative, the attorney may be able to use the alleged criminal’s lack of intent to get the charges lowered to a lesser crime.
The intent requirement can be substituted for reckless or indifferent behavior, however. If an alleged assailant touched another in a way that reasonably should have been understood to be offensive, then the offender may still be on the hook.
For instance, lightly punching someone in the shoulder after a funny joke may not give rise to an assault. However, gently slapping someone on the buttocks in an attempt to show gratitude may give rise to an assault.
Consequences for Conviction
A conviction for a simple assault under Texas law is treated as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the individual faces potential monetary penalties, jail time, and/or probation. The specific sanctions imposed can vary depending on the nature of the crime committed. To best combat these penalties, an individual should hire a Midland misdemeanor assault lawyer as soon as possible.
These consequences of conviction are commonly known to most. However, many fail to take into account some of the more long-term effects that a conviction can have:
- Finding a Job – many employers require employees to have a clean record to continue or become employed
- Background Checks – an assault conviction will show up on a background check for potential employers and other people who may need to run a background check
- Loss of Employment – in some circumstances, an individual may lose their job if they are convicted on an assault charge
- Business and Professional Relationships – a conviction for a crime, whether felony or misdemeanor, can potentially tarnish one’s reputation in their community
Contact an Attorney
A Midland misdemeanor assault lawyer will be able to help navigate the legal process and will be able to help gauge whether a case is worth fighting and going to trial. In some instances, taking a plea may be in the best interest of the alleged criminal.
If you have been charged with an assault related crime in Midland, Texas or the surrounding areas, contact an experienced misdemeanor assault lawyer in Midland today to discuss your case.