Assault is a serious crime at any level. Texas has a history as one of the strictest states for sentencing assault cases. In Texas, a judge can sentence a person guilty of assault to multiple years in prison and impose high fines and even felony charges.
Hiring a reliable criminal lawyer who can help protect your rights is essential if you're up against assault charges. Jason S. English Law, PLLC cares about his clients and strives to provide a strong defense for those facing criminal and drunk driving charges.
Types of Assault in Texas
The law divides assault charges in Texas into different categories. We'll break down the differences between the two most common and tell you what to expect if a police officer charges you with either kind of assault.
Under the Texas penal code, simple assault occurs any time a person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, threatens another with imminent bodily injury, or causes physical contact with another person knowing or reasonably believing that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
The law classifies these actions as simple assault, whether you assault a stranger or a spouse or partner.
The Texas penal code classifies aggravated assault as simple assault that occurs with at least one of two additional conditions. Aggravated assault occurs when you commit simple assault and “inflict serious bodily injury to another individual, including a spouse,” or you “use or exhibit a deadly weapon while committing assault.”
Penalties and Convictions for Assault in Austin, TX
When convicted of assault in Texas, the consequences are severe. With penalties ranging from fines and fees to multiple decades in prison, you'll want a reliable criminal defense attorney in your corner.
The court bases the sentencing for assault convictions on a degree system that determines the seriousness of the crime and assigns a range of penalties to each level.
The charges for simple assault span a significant range. From paying a fine of up to $500 to serving up to 20 years in prison, getting convicted of simple assault can have a considerable impact on your life.
The degrees for simple assault include:
- Class C Misdemeanor Assault — If you threaten another person with harm but don't cause an injury or if you make provocative or offensive physical contact with another person, you could have to pay up to $500 in fines
- Class A Misdemeanor Assault — If you cause another person physical pain without their consent, you could have to serve up to one year of jail time and pay a fee of up to $4,000.
- Third-Degree Felony Assault — If you are a public servant, security officer, emergency personnel, or government official and commit simple assault, you could have to serve 2 to 10 years of jail time and pay fines up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony Assault— If the assaulted individual is an on-duty peace officer or judge and your simple assault allegations include limiting the victim's ability to breathe, you could have to serve 2 to 20 years of jail time and pay fines up to $10,000.
The court determines penalties for aggravated assault on a degree system, and the consequences overlap with the highest degree of simple assault. Aggravated assault degrees include:
- Second-Degree Felony Aggravated Assault — If you inflict serious injury on another person or you have or threaten to use a deadly weapon during the assault, you could have to serve 2 to 10 years in prison and pay fines up to $10,000.>
- First-Degree Felony Aggravated Assault— If you are a public servant or you use a deadly weapon during the assault, you could have to serve 5 to 99 years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
Being convicted of aggravated assault will also have a long-term impact on your future employment prospects as well as your rights and freedoms. If the court convicts you of a felony in Texas, you cannot vote until your sentence is complete. You may also struggle with employment and financial assistance following your conviction and any imprisonment.
Hiring an experienced criminal law attorney can help you navigate assault charges and maintain your rights and freedoms.
Hiring a Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyer
Having an aggressive Texas assault lawyer in your corner can make a significant difference in your assault case. As a former prosecutor with over 15 years of experience prosecuting assault cases, attorney Jason English knows how the other side operates and how to craft effective defenses for criminal defendants. Now an experienced criminal defense lawyer, he uses his courtroom experience and intimate knowledge of state and federal laws to choose the best legal strategy for each client.
If you are facing criminal assault allegations, call a trusted Texas lawyer like Mr. English before you plead guilty. As a skilled criminal defense attorney, Mr. English can help you understand your rights and options and provide the best approach for your case. Call our team at 512-454-7548 in Austin, TX, or complete our online form today to set up an initial consultation.
Copyright© 2022. Jason S. English Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.