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Assault is broadly defined as the unwanted touching of another, usually with the intent to cause harm or injury. An assault charge is the type of crime that carries a negative connotation, such as with a domestic assault. This type of offense can certainly be overwhelming. Especially if there is also the allegation of the use of a deadly weapon. In these cases, as in all assault charges, it is important those accused consult with an experienced Odessa assault lawyer to begin mitigating the damage and building a defense. An experienced defense attorney will be able to investigate your case and work hard to receive the strongest possible outcome for you.
Types of Assault
When an individual is facing an assault case in Odessa, which is a Class C offense. They are facing potentially a first-degree case that could carry a range of punishment not less than five. Or not more than life in prison. If a person is charged with a simple assault. Which is considered unwanted and reckless touching of a person. Or at least a threat of unwanted touching, that is done recklessly. That can be charged as a Class C misdemeanor and the range of punishment would be up to a $500 fine. But a person cannot go to jail on that type of offense. An Odessa assault lawyer will be able to help someone to understand their particular charges.
The next offense with assault is a Class A misdemeanor. There are no a Class B misdemeanors. Class A assault is characterized by intentional or purposefully inflicting bodily injury on another. For example, if someone pokes another person in the chest but the poke does not actually cause an injury. It could still be classified as a Class C misdemeanor because the poke was unwanted touching. If there is a physical altercation, if there is a fight, that becomes a Class A misdemeanor. For that physical contact, it is both unwanted touching and created some sort of bodily injury. And then bodily injury under Texas law is defined as pain.
There is also a branch of an assault that is a Class A Misdemeanor and is considered a domestic assault. This falls under the same definition, except if someone is in a domestic relationship or dating relationship. Then it could escalate from a misdemeanor to a felony. A person can have a felony domestic assault which is a third-degree felony carrying with it from two years to 10 years in prison. Making it imperative that anyone charged with this offense consults with an assault attorney in Odessa.
A felony domestic assault charge is typical with someone who has previously been convicted. Or been adjudicated on a separate domestic assault case. The other type of assault can carry second-degree charges. Which can include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury. This charge can carry two years to 20 years in prison.
Second-degree charges stem from an assault which causes bodily injury and the assault or threat of the assault is done with a deadly weapon and this is specifically defined under Texas statute. A deadly weapon can include a knife, gun, brass knuckles or any object that could potentially cause deadly harm to a person. An example of a domestic assault which could be classified as a second-degree felony is the act of choking or strangling another. If the neck is strangled in such a way to impede the airway, that act would be a separate offense in Texas and would be classified as a second-degree felony.
Then there are first degree felonies. If the aggravated assault is committed on a public servant such as a police officer, EMS, emergency medical assistance person, someone in law enforcement, and firefighters, the assault is classified as a first-degree felony. A skilled Odessa assault lawyer can work hard to help their client mitigate these charges or relieve them all together with a solid defense.