Charged with Assault Causing Bodily Injury in Texas?
If you are facing charges for assault causing bodily injuries in Texas, you need a Houston assault defense attorney to begin work on your case immediately. Assault charges in Texas already carry steep penalties, and bodily injury is an aggravating factor that can make those penalties even more harmful.
Being arrested does not make you guilty — that can only be decided in a court of law. If you have been falsely accused of assault and battery, and want an attorney who isn’t afraid to fight for you in trial, call Thiessen Law Firm. Mark Thiessen, who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, has experience crafting creative and thorough, trial-tested defense strategies for clients in sensitive situations.
Types of assault charges in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01 assault is defined as “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing or threatening bodily injury to another person” or “intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another person with the knowledge that the person will consider that contact to be offensive or undesirable.”
There are various types of assault charges in Texas, which will determine whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
In Texas, simple assault is the lowest level of assault charge. Simple assault is usually the result of unwanted or offensive contact that did not result in injury. A simple assault charge, for first-time assault and battery charge offenders with no aggravating factors, is charged as a misdemeanor. For an offender that has committed multiple simple assaults, the charge can be upgraded to a felony.
What makes an assault aggravated in Texas? Aggravated assault is the category into which assaults with aggravating factors are lumped, many things can constitute an aggravated assault. It can mean that serious bodily injury was caused, a deadly weapon was used, or many other things. If you are facing charges for assault causing bodily injuries in Texas, you will likely be tried for aggravated assault.
What is considered serious bodily injury in Texas? Serious bodily injury is defined as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Keep reading: Assault and Aggravated Assault Difference
Other types of assault in Texas
There are also many more extreme assault charges, which include but are not limited to:
- Sexual assault is also known as rape.
- Assault family violence is also known as domestic violence.
- Intoxication assault occurs when someone suffers serious bodily injury from an intoxicated driver.
- Assault on a public servant is assault on anyone performing a governmental duty including police officers, judges, jurors, or even postal workers.
What is the penalty for assault with bodily injury in Texas?
The penalties for assault with bodily injury vary based on the severity of the conviction. You can be charged for simple or aggravated assault with bodily injury in Texas, depending on the circumstances. The injuries sustained by the victim and previous criminal convictions are the two main determining factors in what type of charge will be drawn up.
Here is the breakdown of assault penalties:
|Offense||Degree||Fines (Up to)||Jail Time|
|Simple assault||Class C misdemeanor||$500||–|
|Simple assault||Class B misdemeanor||$2,000||180 days|
|Simple assault||Class A misdemeanor||$4,000||Up to 1 year|
|Felony assault||Third-degree||$10,000||2-10 years|
|Felony assault||Second-degree||$10,000||2-20 years|
|Felony assault||First-degree||$10,000||5 years to life|
The more severe assault charges in Texas are usually reserved for repeat offenders, family violence, sexual violence, or violence against those serving a governmental purpose.
These charges, however, can be upgraded for any number of reasons. Even if you just got into a bar fight in which no one got seriously hurt, or this was your first offense, it is imperative that you hire the right lawyer.
How to beat an assault charge in Texas
It is tough to beat an assault charge, as things often happen in the heat of the moment and facts can be hard to recover. The truth of the situation often isn’t known when arrests are made, if ever. You need a lawyer that knows how to beat an assault charge in Texas if you want a chance.
- Self-defense is the most obvious route for beating an assault charge, and it is often the reality in assault cases. It takes two to tango, as they say, and very often the wrong person can be held accountable for another’s actions.
- Proving that the accusation is false is an avenue your attorney should explore. The prosecution is required to prove that you committed the offense in order to convict you of assault. There is a chance that you ended up getting caught up in something that had nothing to do with you, or that the accusation is false outright.
- Other affirmative defenses, such as defense of property, or attempting to prevent someone else from causing greater harm, are also a possibility.
Those accused of assault often attempt to pursue reconciliation with their accuser in the hope of getting the charges dropped. Can assault charges be dropped in Texas? They can, but not just at the victim’s request. The prosecution is able to continue a case against the will of the victim. Personal reconciliation will not get charges dropped, but a solid defense can.
Charged with assault causing bodily injury in Texas? Call Thiessen Law Firm
Assault causing bodily injury in Texas is a serious charge carrying serious consequences. If you find yourself facing charges for assault or aggravated assault with bodily injury, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to look at the facts — and to start building your case now. Don’t trust that the police and the prosecution will listen to your side of the story, trust in the people that win cases.