Arlington Assault Lawyer
One of the most common violent crimes in Arlington is assault. However, despite its prevalence, many people do not have a full understanding of the laws in Texas that specifically address and criminalize it. If you were accused of assault, you may be confused as to where you went wrong and overwhelmed at the idea of facing criminal charges.
Despite pressure to act quickly, though, you have a legal right to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal attorney. If retained, an Arlington assault lawyer could work tirelessly toward building a strong case in your defense.
How is Assault Defined?
Texas Penal Code §22.01 is the statute that deals with assault in Arlington. Under this statute, there are three primary ways to commit an assault:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing a bodily injury
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening someone with imminent bodily harm
- Intentionally or knowingly touching someone in an offensive or provocative way
One portion of Arlington’s assault law that is often misunderstood deals with “offensive or provocative contact.” Perhaps uncoincidentally, this is the section of the statute that is most commonly alleged to be violated. Pursuant to this statute, even the lightest touch can be considered offensive, even if it does not lead to an injury.
Another important element of Arlington’s assault law deals with the level of intent that is required for conduct to be legally deemed an assault. An instance of offensive or provocative contact—or a threat of bodily injury—must come with a reasonable certainty of real threat to be considered assault. In other words, assault requires that a threat was present prior to an act of violence.
Beyond this basic definition, there are nuances and complexities which may be difficult for an underprepared or unrepresented individual to understand. Fortunately, a seasoned Arlington assault lawyer could help anyone facing this charge to understand their rights.
Consequences of an Assault Conviction in Arlington
While physical harm is not a necessary component of an assault charge, the consequences of a conviction can still be severe. Generally, an assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor, with convictions potentially resulting in penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
However, charges and associated consequences can be made more severe if the alleged victim belongs to a protected class of people. If so, a misdemeanor could be elevated to a felony, with increased penalties. This list of protected citizens in Arlington includes but is not restricted to:
- A family or household member, which would make it a domestic violence offense
- A public servant, while in the performance of their public and official duty
- A pregnant woman, if the purported assault was done for the purpose of inducing a miscarriage
- A prison or security guard
- A member of emergency services, like an emergency medical technician (EMT) or a firefighter
Work with an Arlington Assault Attorney Today
If you were accused of breaking Texas state law by committing an act of assault, retaining an attorney to help defend your rights and interests could make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. The time after a criminal accusation can be fraught with worry and uncertainty, but you should not have to face the legal system by yourself.
A proactive assault lawyer in Arlington should have the experience and understanding of the legal process in Texas to effectively help you protect your rights. Contact an Arlington assault lawyer today to start working on your case.