Dealing with an assault charge is rarely an easy matter. No situation is ever black and white, and an opportunity to tell your side of the story and defend yourself can be critical in an assault case. A Fort Worth assault lawyer could work with you through each step of your case, ensuring that your rights are protected from start to finish and helping you build and present a strong defense to the allegations.
Your attorney could take care of the legal aspects of your situation and work to make sure your voice is heard, so you can focus on getting your life back on track. You do not have to go through this alone—get a highly experienced assault lawyer on your side so you can have the best chance of a positive outcome!
Don’t Go It Alone In The State Of Texas
Although there is often a tendency to take assault as a minor offense, the reality in Texas is a lot different. Every state has different laws regarding assault charges, and in TX, these laws are quite broad.
A person arrested or charged with the offense of assault in Fort Worth, Texas may be facing a diverse range of punishments from a fine of $500 to significant jail terms of up to 20 years.
As such, if you are facing an assault charge in Fort Worth or any other jurisdiction in the state of Texas, it will be in your best interest to immediately contact a skilled assault lawyer. Your attorney will listen to your story and help you identify the facts and evidence that operate in your favor.
Assault is considered a violent crime and offenses of this nature typically draw attention. Our state often wants to send a message that the conduct of this nature is not to be tolerated and as a result, this offense will often be prosecuted vigorously. The smallest of factors can often be the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony conviction. As a result, getting an opportunity to tell your side of the story will be critical to your case.
If you have been arrested or charged with assault in the Fort Worth area, contact The Medlin Law Firm to speak with an experienced Fort Worth assault lawyer. We can help you through this tough situation and our team will work hard to make sure your case is heard.
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What Is An Assault In Texas?
Under the Texas Penal Code §22.01, assault is used by the Texas Legislature as a blanket term that covers a variety of violent conduct. It is used to cover situations where a person causes another to reasonably fear that violence will be inflicted on them, and where the offender actually inflicts violence.
As an experienced Fort Worth assault attorney would explain, it may not matter with an assault charge whether physical contact actually happened or not. It may also matter very little that there was no actual bodily injury suffered by the victim. What the law often punishes when it comes to violent acts is the effects it produced and the impacts it had on the victim.
Under the Penal Code, the offense of assault may be simple or aggravated, depending on the presence of certain factors.
A simple assault is committed when there is violent conduct that involves any one of the following:
- Making a threat of bodily injury to another person.
- Causing bodily injury to another person.
- Causing offensive or unwanted physical contact with another person.
Typically, the bodily injury anticipated in simple assault cases is of a less serious nature. It includes injuries such as abrasions, bruises, minor cuts, sprains, physical pain and minor impairment. Injuries of a more severe nature would of course be expected to result in more serious charges. In order to maintain a conviction, the prosecution must usually prove that one of three things is true:
- That you intended to cause injury; or
- You were aware that you would cause injury; or
- You should have realized you would cause injury.
The threat of bodily injury does not equate to just any threat either. It must have been such as to produce a profound effect in the victim’s mental state. They must have had a reason to believe the threat and must have been convinced that you were capable of carrying it out. The experienced Fort Worth assault lawyers at The Medlin Law Firm can often mount a strong defense to convince a jury otherwise.
An assault charge that is founded on offensive or unwanted physical contact also needs to show that the offender was aware that the contact was of this nature. Any proof short of this may result n a verdict of “not guilty”.
Apart from the acts that amount to a simple assault, there are a number of factors, which if present, will constitute aggravating circumstances in an assault. These usually relate to “how” the acts of assault were carried out, and against “who”.
For instance, while merely causing bodily injury is a simple assault, causing the same bodily injury to your spouse or a public officer will typically result in extremely severe punishment. Circumstances that are deemed to be aggravated include:
- A threat of bodily injury or offensive contact against someone at a sporting event.
- Threats of bodily injury or offensive contact against an elderly or disabled individual.
- Choking one’s spouse or family member by preventing them from breathing or limiting their blood from circulating.
- Resisting a police officer or other public servant with the use of violence or a weapon.
- Causing bodily injury to a police officer or other public servant.
- Assaults that involve the use of a firearm or other weapon.
Punishment For Assault Convictions In TX
The consequences of a conviction for an assault can vary greatly depending on the circumstances in which the offense was committed. These may operate to result in a misdemeanor or a felony conviction.
A misdemeanor assault can be punished as a Class C, Class B or Class A misdemeanor.
- Acts that will result in a Class C misdemeanor include offensive touching without actual harm. The punishment is a fine of up to $500 and no jail time.
- A Class B misdemeanor is committed when the assault is committed in the midst of a sporting event. The punishment is a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
- The offense is a Class A misdemeanor when it involves bodily injury without aggravating circumstances or where it involves offensive contact to an elderly or disabled person. The punishment is a fine of up to $4,000 and up to 1 year in jail.
An assault committed in most of the aggravating circumstances mentioned above will result in a felony conviction. This will result in harsher penalties in any one of three degrees.
- The offense will constitute a third-degree felony when it involves terroristic threats, harassment of public servants or discharging of a firearm. The punishment is up to $10,000 in fines and between 2 and 10 years in jail.
- A second-degree felony is committed when it involves domestic violence or sexual assault. It attracts a punishment of between 2 and 20 years in state prison as well as fines up to $10,000.
- In the first degree, the offense involves aggravated assault with a weapon or aggravated sexual assault. The punishment is anywhere from 5 years to life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Possible Defenses To An Assault Charge
While an assault charge can be a serious offense, you should know that anyone accused of assault is innocent until they are proven guilty. It is the job of the prosecutor to convincingly show that a crime has occurred, and it was by your hands.
Our skilled Fort Worth assault lawyers can hold them to that responsibility on your behalf by critically analyzing the available evidence and identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
We can assess and assert a number of defenses on your behalf, which includes, but are not limited to:
- Showing that there was no intention to cause bodily injury and that the effects of the acts were entirely unintended or unforeseeable.
- Showing that the victim had no ground for believing the threat or there was no basis for believing they could have been carried out.
- We can also review the facts for evidence that may indicate the accused was unaware that their contact with the victim would be perceived as offensive or provocative.
Our Fort Worth Assault Lawyers Can Defend You
Facing an assault charge can result in serious consequences, but with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can achieve a positive outcome. If you or a loved one was charged with the offense of assault, do not hesitate to contact us at The Medlin Law Firm. Our attorneys will listen to your story and are prepared to work with you to defeat the charge against you for a positive conclusion.
Facing an assault charge can result in serious consequences, but a seasoned Fort Worth assault lawyer is available to help. Having an experienced attorney by your side could ensure you are prepared for all court appearances and that you know what to expect each step of the way. If you or a loved one has been charged with the offense of an assault, contact us for a consultation to learn more about how we could help face these serious charges, or:
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