Assault is a misdemeanor or felony offense that can result in jail time and other severe penalties. Situations that result in assault charges may occur at home, at work, on the street, or in a public place such as a restaurant, bar, or basketball game. Regardless of the circumstances, you should strongly consider contacting a Richardson assault lawyer for advice.
While not all assaults result in injuries to others, they often involve a component of violence, whether actual or threatened. An assault conviction in your criminal history may deter employers and inhibit your ability to advance your career. If you are in this situation, the services of a competent defense lawyer may be beneficial.
Types of Assault Charges in Richardson
The definition of assault under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01 is expansive and encompasses several different actions. For example, assault occurs when individuals knowingly cause physical injury to others, whether it is through hitting, kicking, or using a weapon.
However, the conduct does not have to result in injuries to others for it to constitute assault. Making intentional threats to inflict immediate physical harm to others also qualifies as assault under this code section. Furthermore, offensive or provocative physical conduct with others that does not cause injuries, such as spitting or shoving someone, also can be assault. An assault lawyer in Richardson may be able to clarify what behaviors may result in assault charges.
Common Charges Under This Statute
A general assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law if the incident causes bodily injury. However, it is only a Class B misdemeanor if no physical harm occurs as a result of the assault.
The alleged target of the assault also can affect the level of the charge that a person faces. For instance, an assault that does not result in injuries, but involves threats of bodily harm directed toward elderly or disabled individuals, increases to a Class A misdemeanor.
There also are selected circumstances in which an assault results in a felony charge, which creates the potential for harsher penalties. These situations include:
- The targets of the assault are public servants acting in the scope of their official duties
- The targets of the assault are family or household members and the accused individuals have a prior domestic assault conviction
A felony assault conviction can result not only in high fines and a prison sentence of more than one year, but also in the loss of some civil rights. These rights can include the right to carry a firearm and the right to vote.
Other Forms of Felony Assault
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault occurs when individuals have or use a deadly weapon while committing an assault, or when an assault causes a serious bodily injury. This includes injuries that have a substantial risk of death, severe and permanent disfigurement, extended loss of function of a limb or organ, or death.
Another type of assault is sexual assault, which occurs according to Tex. Pen. Code § 22.011 when someone intentionally engages in certain forms of sexual conduct with another who has not consented, or with children under the age of 17. This code section defines various situations that indicate a lack of consent, such as the presence of certain relationships between the parties or the use of physical force,
Get Advice from a Richardson Assault Attorney
When you are facing criminal charges such as assault, you run the risk of having a permanent criminal record. Even if an assault incident does not result in physical harm to others, many will consider an assault conviction to be a sign of violent behavior. Avoiding or minimizing the consequences of assault charges may be essential to your ability to better yourself and move forward in the future. Call a Richardson assault lawyer to learn more.