Legal Services – Experienced Defense Against Assault Charges In Dallas Texas
Assault In Dallas: What You Need To Know
What Is Assault?
An assault is an illegal and often violent attack on someone. It is an unwanted and unwarranted attack. Assault is an attempt or threat to inflict injury upon another. One type of assault is aggravated assault, which is a serious physical attack that may cause significant bodily harm or even death. This can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
A person commits an assault when, without legal justification, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse. Depending on the severity, manner, and victim, assault may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor Assault & Felony Assault
Simple assault that results in minor injury is a Class A misdemeanor. If you are charged with simple assault, it can become a third-degree felony if the state proves certain aggravating factors. Aggravated assault becomes a second-degree felony if it is committed with a deadly weapon or results in serious bodily injury.
What Is Assault Bodily Injury (ABI)?
Assault Bodily Injury (ABI) is the crime of causing bodily injury through the use of force or violence. This includes physical contact with another person. If you are convicted of Assault Bodily Injury in Texas, you can be sentenced to a jail term of up to two years and fined up to $10,000, or both.
Bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or impairment of physical condition. Assault Bodily Injury is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas and is punishable by up to a year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
In cases of simple assault, the arresting officer must witness the act of inflicting harm in order to make an immediate arrest, except in cases of domestic violence. If they did not see the incident, they must seek an arrest warrant to be issued by the court.
What is Assault Bodily Injury Against a Family Member (ABI-FM)?
ABI-FM is a crime committed in the same manner as simple assault but the victim is a family member or household member, current or past. The victim may also be anyone with whom the perpetrator has had a romantic relationship.
What Is Assault By Contact?
Assault by Contact according to the Texas Penal Code is “Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
In order for a charge of assault by contact to stick, the prosecution must prove that there was intent to cause offense or provocation. If the act was an accident, no matter how offended a person is they cannot successfully sue for assault by contact. An accidental act that causes offense is not a criminal act.
What Is Assault By Threat?
Assault by Threat is when a person “intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse.” The threat must have the effect of making the person being threatened fear for their life. Such threat is sometimes referred to as verbal assault. It can be committed by making threats in person, through phone, email, or any other form of communication. Verbal assault is normally a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500. The charge may be elevated to a Class B misdemeanor if it was so effective that it made the victim believe that they were in imminent danger.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is a form of assault that involves the use of a weapon or the infliction of serious injury. An object can be classified as a deadly weapon if it is used to harm someone.
The circumstances of the situation determine if an object is a deadly weapon. Deadly weapons can include guns, knives, and similar objects. Jurisprudence says a rock may be a deadly weapon if used to strike the victim’s head, causing a fracture. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled that even a floor may be a deadly weapon if the victim’s head was slammed against it.
Whether or not an object is a deadly weapon is left to the decision of the jury. Factors that influence classification as a deadly weapon include the manner that the defendant wielded the object. It also includes the size and weight of the object. Other factors include the amount of force used by the assailant as well as the location of the victim’s bodily injuries.
Aggravated assault also covers incidents where serious bodily injuries were inflicted. Bodily injuries are considered serious if it leads to death or a diminished quality of life with impairment of body parts or organs. It also includes serious disfigurement that’s permanent and a significant risk of death. Other instances of aggravated assault include attacking someone by choking, if the perpetrator has a previous conviction, and if committed against family members continuously.
How Is An Assault Charge Filed?
An Assault Charge is a formal accusation of a crime that is filed against a person for intentionally or knowingly inflicting harm or threatening to inflict harm on another person. Assault is a crime that can be filed against anyone, including a police officer or a security guard. The crime is filed by the victim or the victim’s family and is prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office.
A case of assault bodily injury is forwarded to a local district attorney’s office for review. If the case is accepted, the defendant will be formally charged with assault and required to make an appearance in court.
It’s important to contact a lawyer before your first court appearance.
There are three ways a prosecutor can handle an assault case: accepting it, sending it back for more information, or rejecting it outright. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and build a defense strategy.
If you live in Dallas, there are many experienced assault attorneys that can help. The Medlin Law Firm has lawyers that focus on criminal defense. They handle all types of criminal charges, including assault.
Possible Defenses For Assault Charges
One of the most common defenses used for assault charges is self-defense. The claim asserts that you were justified in committing the act of violence because the victim initiated violence or threats against you. There has to be a real existing threat of violence against the defendant in order for a claim of self-defense to stand in court. In many states, anyone threatened or subjected to violence has the duty to retreat. However, if you live in the state of Texas, you have the right to protect themselves using violence. This is based on the condition that the violence used for self-protection is commensurate with the violence being inflicted against you.
Self-defense doesn’t just apply to yourself. You also have the right to apply violence in order to protect someone else from violence. Defense of others is a valid defense in an assault charge if the circumstances prove that the violence used in self-defense fit the situation.
In the state of Texas you are also allowed by law to defend your property with violence. Defense of property is a valid defense in an assault charge. This is under the concept of “Stand Your Ground” law that allows you to use reasonable force to protect your home or your vehicle.
Whatever your defense is largely depends on your lawyer. If you live in the Dallas, Texas area and are facing assault charges, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer. There are many experienced assault lawyers that can help you handle your case and make sure you get the proper defense that you need.
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