Simple Assault Lawyer Dallas
Simple Assault Lawyer Dallas: Misdemeanor Assault In Texas
How A Simple Assault Lawyer In Dallas Works
A simple assault lawyer in Dallas can provide adequate representation in an assault case. Make sure you hire one if you are charged with a misdemeanor assault in Texas.
Contrary to popular belief, misdemeanor assault isn’t just about fighting. Misdemeanor assault charges encompass a wide range of actions and behavior that go beyond fighting or punching someone. For instance, in Texas, you can face misdemeanor assault charges for threatening to harm someone or spitting on someone, even if you don’t physically touch them.
Misdemeanor assault in Texas falls under the definition of assault as per the Texas Penal Code: Section 22.01 (a)(2)(3). These sections talk about knowingly threatening someone with an imminent injury or knowingly causing physical contact that is offensive or provocative.
Types Of Misdemeanor Assault In Texas
Misdemeanor assault can either be ABI (assault bodily injury), ABI-FM (ABI against a family member/s), assault by contact, or assault by threat.
I. Assault Bodily Injury
As the name suggests, ABI is linked to bodily injury that is intentional or reckless. If you injure another person knowingly or out of reckless action, you can face ABI charges. Most importantly, the victim doesn’t need to face serious injuries or pain. Slight discomfort or pain can be enough to launch an assault by bodily injury. Physical pain or impairment isn’t a prerequisite for launching assault bodily injury charges.
Misdemeanor assault charges in Texas begin with an investigation and arrest followed by a case being reviewed by a prosecutor in the local district attorney’s office. In most cases, misdemeanor assault cases are accepted immediately.
Additional information can be requested before a case is accepted. The case can also be rejected. If accepted, the perpetrator will be charged formally and given a court date. He/she should be represented by an assault attorney for obvious reasons.
What Are The Penalties For ABI In Texas?
ABI charges are usually treated as Class A misdemeanors in Texas. Such charges can attract fines (up to $4,000 and a jail time not exceeding one year. Probation may also apply. However, if the perpetrator has a criminal record, he/she may not get probation. Individuals charged with ABI generally get straight or deferred adjudication probation.
The two are generally similar. However, they have different consequences and attract different jail terms. It’s important to hire a good assault attorney in Texas to challenge enhanced penalties (if any) and negotiate the best outcome possible.
II. ABI Against Family Member
ABI-FM is simply assault bodily injury against a household or family member. The assault can be directed at someone who stays with you like a roommate, boyfriend, girlfriend, or family members such as spouses, siblings, or parents.
The definition of family members encompasses those related by blood, adoption, or marriage. ABI-FM can also extend to include assault bodily harm to an ex-spouse or ex-girlfriend, or ex-boyfriend.
What Are The Penalties For ABI-FM In Texas?
Assault bodily injury charges involving family members qualify as class A misdemeanors in Texas. As mentioned above, such charges attract a jail term (not more than a year) and a fine not exceeding $4,000.
However, Class A misdemeanor charges can escalate to more serious charges i.e., felony, if the perpetrator of the violence has been convicted in the past and they committed the offense using a weapon or force such as choking a family member.
III. Assault By Threat
As mentioned above, misdemeanor assault in Texas also involves threatening to cause physical harm. The threat is supposed to be intentional and imminent. Assault by threat charges can be non-verbal or verbal.
What Are The Penalties Of Assault By Threat In Texas?
In Texas, such charges are treated as Class C misdemeanors. Such offenses are don’t attract prison time. Instead, you can be fined up to $500. However, while the punishment seems lenient, a Class C conviction remains on your record.
This can have dire consequences ranging from high rental cost to missed employment opportunities. Some landlords and employers look at a person’s criminal record before deciding if they should deal with you. It is therefore advisable to keep off any offenses however small they look or fight them using a legal expert when they arise.
IV. Assault By Contact
If you make contact with someone’s body knowingly to provoke or offend them, you can be charged with assault by contact. The contact can include anything from spitting on someone to poking their chest, shoving them, etc. Most importantly, bodily injury isn’t a prerequisite for an assault by contact charge.
What Are the Assault By Contact Penalties In Texas?
An Assault by Contact charge is treated as a Class C misdemeanor that is punishable by fines not exceeding $500 per offense. However, depending on the situation at hand, such charges can be escalated to more serious offenses. If the bodily contact i.e., spitting and poking, caused pain and happened alongside threats of imminent physical contact, the perpetrator can face more serious charges.
What Happens When Misdemeanor Assault In Texas Becomes A More Serious Offence?
As mentioned, misdemeanor offenses can easily be enhanced to more severe offenses. If the misdemeanor assault is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor, the perpetrator can be fined up to $4,000 and jailed for not more than a year. This usually happens in the presence of bodily injury to an elderly person.
Class B misdemeanor charges attract a maximum jail term of 180 days and fines not exceeding $2,000. Misdemeanor assault charges can be enhanced to Class B on several occasions i.e., if a fan assaults a sports player, threatens harm, or causes offensive contact.
Class C misdemeanor is the least severe charge. Most typical misdemeanor assault charges are treated as Class C unless there are reasons to enhance the charges. Class C charges attract fines only (up to $500).
Other consequences. Regardless of the eventual charge, perpetrators of misdemeanor assault in Texas can suffer other consequences, such as losing their right to own or carry a firearm. This can be the case if the misdemeanor included bodily injury. As a result, misdemeanor assault charges should be treated with the seriousness they deserve.
How Do You Fight Misdemeanor Assault Charges In Texas?
In Texas and all other US states, you are deemed innocent until you are proven guilty. So, it’s within your rights to defend yourself. There are many ways to fight misdemeanor assault in Texas. The most common defenses include;
Defenses For Misdemeanor Assault In Texas
You can claim you touched someone, threatened someone, or provoked someone to defend yourself.
II. Defense Of Property
You can also claim you were defending your property if you face misdemeanor assault charges for shoving or threatening someone who took your property.
Regardless of the charge in question, you can also claim that you acted under duress and shouldn’t be punished for actions you didn’t preempt or do maliciously.
IV. Other Misdemeanor Assault Defenses
Texas has many other defenses you can use, ranging from a necessity to mutual combat. Texas law allows two individuals to engage each other in mutual combat without fearing criminal penalties. The law is found in SECTION 22.06 in the Texas Penal Code. As a result, two people can fight each other without causing serious bodily injury if they are in reasonable consent based on body language or their words.
Other Ways To Fight Misdemeanor Assault
Besides defenses, other avenues can be used to have charges lessened or dismissed. For instance, if you don’t have a history of any offense, the judge can be lenient. What’s more, cases involving allegations can be challenged by targeting the character of the person giving evidence. Since allegations must be accompanied by testimonies, a person’s character before the offense can be used against them.
Since a person is innocent until the final verdict is given, the case can be fought before the process is concluded. Generally, perpetrators are arrested and released after bond conditions are set. For instance, the perpetrator must stay away from the victim. Abiding by such rules is important. Violating bond conditions make it harder to fight charges.
It also helps to be patient and flexible once you face misdemeanor assault charges. For instance, you can have a wait-and-see attitude and make decisions as the case evolves. This includes avoiding aggressive defense until you establish the nature of the final charges, evidence, etc.
It’s also worth noting that charges can take months to over one year to be resolved. Instead of being impatient, use the time to your advantage.
While state cases rarely get better with time, you can leverage outcomes to your advantage if you have a good attorney advising you. For instance, the victim may have been involved in something that can make their character and testimony be questionable.
Should You Hire A Simple Assault Lawyer In Dallas?
Yes! While misdemeanors are treated as minor offenses that attract fines, probation, or a small jail term, they can be escalated into serious offenses that are costly and capable of damaging your reputation. You could also lose important rights, such as the right to carry a firearm.
While a simple assault lawyer in Dallas seems like an unnecessary expense in “small” charges, misdemeanor assault charges can escalate and attract hefty fines and jail terms. The consequences of losing employment, losing opportunities, and damaging your reputation are more severe than legal costs.
Hire The Medlin Firm for all your Texas misdemeanor assault cases.