Fort Worth Assault Lawyer
Assaults can occur in a variety of circumstances, from a domestic argument that unexpectedly escalates to a fight outside a bar. Whatever the case may be, the alleged assault may be considered a crime of violence, even when it does not result in any injuries to others, and can result in charges. Consulting a Fort Worth assault lawyer when you are charged with any type of assault offense may place you in a better position to positively resolve the charges against you.
An aggressive criminal lawyer may be able to investigate the facts surrounding the alleged assault, interview witnesses, and evaluate the charges against you in light of these facts. Getting legal advice when you need it most may mean the difference between a positive and negative outcome in your case.
The Definition of Assault
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01, assault occurs when individuals:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause physical injury
- Intentionally or knowingly threaten imminent physical injury
- Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact that they know or should reasonably believe is offensive or provocative to others
Under this expansive definition, which includes traditional elements of both assault and battery, it is not necessary for an injury to occur to justify assault charges. Rather, an imminent threat of injury occurring is sufficient to result in a charge of assault. In this situation, the knowledge of a Fort Worth assault attorney may be of assistance to you.
When Assault is Considered Aggravated
In some cases, certain aggravating factors may elevate the offense from assault to aggravated assault. According to Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault involves either the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon in the commission of an assault, or one that results in serious bodily injury. Tex. Pen. Code § 1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as one that poses a serious risk of death, permanent disfigurement, the protracted loss or impaired function of any limbs or organs, or death.
The presence of other factors can also increase the potential penalties for assault. Some of these factors may include:
- The alleged victim was a public servant, government contractor, employee of a correctional facility, emergency services personnel, or security guard lawfully discharging their public duties
- The assault was against certain family or household members when the individual has a previous conviction for family violence
- The alleged perpetrator intentionally used strangulation or suffocation to carry out the assault
Penalties in Fort Worth
Generally, an assault charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Certain aggravating factors, as described above, can increase the charge to a third- or second-degree felony, depending on the situation.
For a Class A misdemeanor conviction, individuals may face a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000. Third-degree felonies can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and a $10,000 fine. Due to the potential severity of an assault conviction, consulting a Fort Worth assault attorney may be beneficial.
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony under Texas law, but also may result in a first-degree felony charge in some circumstances. A second-degree felony conviction can carry a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a $10,000 fine. If charged as a first-degree felony, an aggravated assault conviction can result in a prison sentence up to 99 years and a $10,000 fine.
Contact a Fort Worth Assault Attorney Today
The penalties for an assault conviction can be severe and may result in significant terms of incarceration. As it is often seen as a crime involving violence, an assault conviction may derail your future career plans or make it more difficult to advance in your current field. An experienced Fort Worth assault lawyer can help fight the charges you are facing to potentially improve the outcome.
Facing any type of criminal charges is not a matter to take lightly. Getting legal advice may be crucial to a positive resolution of your case. Call a skilled attorney today and learn about the options that may be available to you.