Grand Prairie Assault Lawyer
In the state of Texas, assault offenses are broadly defined and involve any violence or a threat of violence to another individual. The consequences for convictions of assault varies from case to case. If you are charged with any degree of assault charges, you may want to contact a Grand Prairie assault lawyer for assistance.
A dedicated defense attorney may be able to investigate the circumstances surrounding your case and could work to fight them on your behalf. With a strong legal advocate on your side, you may be able to effectively defend yourself against the charges you are facing.
Understanding the Legal Offense
Assault is defined as intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury or contact that is reasonably offensive to others. It also includes intentionally making threats of impending bodily injury. In Texas, physical contact or injury is not required in order to support a charge of assault.
While assault and battery are mentioned together, in many states they are separate offenses. The crime of assault typically involves making threats of physical harm to others whereas battery involves actually inflicting physical harm on others. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, however, Texas incorporates elements of both assault and battery into a single criminal offense.
When Assault Becomes Aggravated
Pursuant to Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault occurs when an individual uses or exhibits a deadly weapon while committing an assault and may or may not cause serious bodily injuries to others. To constitute serious bodily injury, Tex. Pen. Code § 1.07(46) states that the injuries must result in:
- A substantial risk of death
- Serious and permanent disfigurement
- Loss or impairment of a limb or organ
Aggravated charges can result in increased penalties. To learn about the repercussions of this elevated assault charge, it may be beneficial to speak with a Grand Prairie assault attorney.
Potential Penalties for Charges in Grand Prairie
The broad definition of assault leads to a wide range of possible penalties for accused individuals. A general assault charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor offense. The potential penalties for a Class A misdemeanor conviction may include a term of incarceration of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000. While aggravated assault is typically considered a second-degree felony, it could be considered a first-degree felony in some situations.
There are certain factors that could elevate a general assault charge to a third- or second-degree felony offense. The penalties for a felony conviction are far more severe and could include a loss of certain civil rights with the regular criminal penalties for the offense. Accused individuals are recommended to contact a skilled attorney immediately.
From Misdemeanor to Felony Offense
In Texas, there are a few examples of factors that could increase an assault charge from a misdemeanor to a felony offense. This may include situations in which the targets of the assault are:
- Public servants, correctional officers, emergency services personnel, or security guards acting in the course of their official duties
- Qualifying family or household members which the accused individual or individuals have a previous family violence conviction
- Employees of civil commitment facilities
A third-degree felony conviction could result in incarceration of between two and ten years, and a $10,000 fine. For a second-degree felony conviction, the potential penalties may include a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a maximum $10,000 fine. Since the penalties for a felony assault conviction could result in years in prison, contacting an assault attorney in Grand Prairie is highly advisable.
Look to a Grand Prairie Assault Attorney for Advice
Assault charges may be very serious no matter who is involved. As an alternative to taking matters into your own hands, set up a consultation with a Grand Prairie assault lawyer. A lawyer could help individuals learn about their legal options and build a strong defense for their case. If you are charged with a crime, you have rights that legal counsel may be able to protect. Getting legal advice when you need it may make a significant difference in the ultimate outcome of your case. Call today for assistance on your case.