Are you are facing assault charges in the Austin area? Are you wondering how to beat an assault charge in Texas, so you can keep a conviction off of your permanent record? Regardless of the specific circumstances of your situation, once you have been arrested and charged with an assault offense, you could face a wide range of punishments upon conviction. To fight the charges against you, it is important that you secure the services of a reputable and experienced attorney who understands Texas assault-related laws.
Types of Assault Charges in Texas
Assault is a criminal charge involving intentional, knowing, or reckless bodily injury–essentially violence or physical force against another person, or a threat of imminent physical harm. It can be designated as either a misdemeanor or felony crime in Texas, depending on the circumstances of each case. There are several types of assault charges in the State of Texas, defined in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, with associated punishments.
- Texas Misdemeanor Assaults
- Texas assault charges can be designated as Class C misdemeanors when someone threatens harm but no physical injury occurs or when someone touches another person in a provocative or offensive manner. A Class C misdemeanor carries up to a $500 fine.
- When someone assaults someone during the course of a sporting event, a Class B misdemeanor is charged. Such a charge carries a fine of up to $2,000 and six months in prison.
- An assault that causes physical harm, or any assault against a disabled or elderly person (even if it does not cause harm), is recorded as a Class A misdemeanor charge. This charge carries a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year of prison time.
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- Texas Felony Assaults
- When a person physically harms a public servant, emergency services personnel, or security officer, it is a third-degree felony assault. This felony results in a fine of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years of prison time.
- An assault is considered a second-degree felony when someone commits the crime while brandishing a weapon or causing serious physical harm. Also referred to as aggravated assault, it carries a fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in prison.
- An aggravated assault in Texas carried out against a security officer, criminal witness, public servant, informant, or a person who reports a crime is designated a first-degree felony. First-degree felony assault carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 in fines and life in prison.
False Accusations of Assault
False accusations of assault are made in some cases. There are many legal strategies and defenses that might allow someone to beat assault charges. In some cases, a skilled attorney can work with prosecutors to drop the charges before trial or negotiate for a lesser charge. If the Texas assault case goes to trial, an experienced lawyer can take on the prosecution by arguing that there is not sufficient evidence to convict or there is reasonable doubt, or presenting the incident as self-defense or defense of another, with the goal of having the charges dismissed.
Have you been falsely accused of assault in Texas? If so, consulting with a respected attorney is one of the most important steps you can take. When facing false accusations, having a lawyer on your side like the professional, board-certified criminal defense attorney Brian Erskine of Erskine Law is key. If you are in need of help from an experienced lawyer in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area to defend you against false accusations of assault, you should know that Brian Erskine knows the law and will be able to build a case on your behalf. Contact Erskine Law to schedule a free consultation today.