Being arrested on suspicion of committing a crime and actually being charged are two completely different things. Charges can be levied by a prosecutor, most often from a District Attorney’s office, after you have been arrested by a law enforcement officer. Simply being charged doesn’t mean you will be convicted. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. A Houston criminal defense attorney can help you fight assault charges in the Lonestar State.
If you have been charged with assault in Texas, you face the following penalties if convicted. Take note that the penalties differ based on the type of assault charge filed against you. There are two forms of assault charges: simple assault and aggravated assault.
Someone who is charged with simple assault caused bodily harm to another person recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly. The incident might have also happened without the plaintiff suffering physical harm, but was only threatened.
If convicted of simple assault, you face a Class A misdemeanor with fines up to $4,000 and no more than one year in jail. If you are charged with provoking someone else by touching or threatening bodily harm, you face a Class C misdemeanor with no time in jail and only a fine.
If charged with aggravated assault, it means that you brandished a weapon when threatening another person or caused someone else serious bodily harm. This charge is a second-degree felony that has penalties of no more than $10,000 in fines and anywhere from two to 20 years in prison. If the charge is related to a domestic violence incident, you will be charged with a first-degree felony and could face life in prison.
The following can be used as defenses to Texas assault charges. It’s important to note that there are certain circumstances that must be met in order for these defenses to hold up in court.
Texas law gives its citizens the right to defend others from perceived violence. This means that if you harmed someone because you believed they were going to harm your spouse, child, co-worker, or any other persona; this defense might be successful in court in having the charges dropped.
Texas law gives its citizens the right to defend themselves against perceived violence. In order for this defense to be successful, you will need to prove to the court that you faced a real perceived threat of violence. Also, the force you used to defend yourself must not have been extreme.
You are legally allowed to use force against someone who is stealing your property or who is entering your home illegally so long as it is within reason.
Were you charged with assault in Texas? You should not ignore the charges, or try your hand at defending yourself in court. The experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of David A. Breston can review the charges against you and build a case in defense of those charges. Call our office at (713) 804-6492 to schedule an appointment today.