Assault is so broadly defined that you could be charged with the offense even if you didn’t actually touch the other person. If you tell another person that you plan to beat them up, and they fear that they are in imminent danger, you could be charged with assault.
Remember, just because you were accused of assault, doesn’t mean that you will be convicted. The prosecutor is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed every element of the crime.
Defense Attorney for Assault in Houston, TX
Brian Benken is a licensed private investigator that will work towards finding a favorable solution to your problem. If his evidence doesn’t match what the court discovers, he will shed light on the truth.
If you would like to schedule a time to speak with Brian Benkan about the specifics of your case, call (713) 223 - 4051. The Benken Law Firm represents clients in all communities in Harris County and surrounding counties such as the Greater East End, Lawndale, River Oaks, Hedwig Village and many others.
Overview of Assault in Harris County, TX
Assault can refer to any situation where someone creates fear or harm in another person. Just about any act can be considered assault. For example, you get into an argument with someone and you poke them in the chest, that individual may interpret the contact as offensive.
Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code defines that a person can commit assault in the following ways:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, including your spouse
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, including your spouse
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another person when you know or should have reason to believe the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
The penal code considers bodily injury to mean any physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Bodily injury can include minor cuts and bruises.
When an assault is caused by provocative or offensive contact, it refers to acts that don’t cause physical injury or pain, but it causes the other person to be upset and feel violated. This kind of assault can include something as simple as poking someone during an argument or getting in someone’s personal space.
Whether or not an assault is classified as a felony or misdemeanor will depend on whom the crime was committed against, if the assault took place at a sporting event and if any physical harm was caused.
Listed below are the possible charges and penalties for assault in Texas:
- Class C Misdemeanor: If you physically touched someone in a provocative or offense manner or threatened harm or injury, but no physical injury was caused, you could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor that is punishable by up to $500 in fines.
- Class B Misdemeanor: If you committed assault against a sports participant such as an umpire, referee, player or any other person who is doing their job to protect players from nonparticipants, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, you could spend up to six months in jail, a fine up to $2,000 or a combination of both.
- Class A Misdemeanor: If you caused bodily injury to another person, forced a pregnant woman to have an abortion, or committed assault against an elderly or disabled individual, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you could spend up to a year in jail, pay a $4,000 fine, or a combination of the two.
- Third-Degree Felony: You could be charged with a third-degree felony if the person you physically harmed was a family member, public servant, a government contractor for family services, security officer or emergency service personnel. The charge is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
An assault offense can be upgraded to aggravated assault if certain circumstances are met in your case. Under section 22.02 of the penal code, these circumstances can include:
- Causing serious bodily injury to another; or
- Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the assault.
Aggravated assault is charged as a second-degree felony that is punished by no more than 20 years in prison and no more than $10,000 in fines. The charge could be increased to a first-degree felony if you used a deadly weapon against a family member, public servants, a security officer or witnesses.
A first-degree felony comes with harsher sentencing such as five to 99 years or life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additional Resources for Assault in Houston, TX
Assault | Texas Penal Code– Familiarize yourself with the assault laws in Texas. The laws can be found in section 22.01 of the penal code and they include what Texas considers assault and factors that help the court determine charges. The statute can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Punishments | Texas Penal Code– Follow this link to visit the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read through general provisions for criminal punishments in the state. The statue breaks down each criminal charge and lists their penalties. You can also learn more about penalties for repeat felony and misdemeanor offenders.
Lawyer for Assault in Harris County, TX
Assault can be a difficult crime to understand. Call The Benken Law Firm today to schedule a time for you to sit down with an experienced attorney and discuss the specifics of your case. Brian Benken defends those accused of criminal offenses in every community throughout Harris County such as Houston, Galena Park, Bellaire, West University Place, Brookside Village and many others.
Brian Benken has over 30 years of experience defending clients accused of criminal offenses in Harris County and surrounding counties. He will do everything in his power to achieve a favorable outcome for your situation.
Take the first step in building your defense. Contact The Benken Law Firm at (713) 223 - 4051.