Parnham & Associates
Criminal Law Attorneys in Houston, Texas
An assault and battery charge can result in serious consequences for any defendant. You may face an extended prison sentence and be forced to pay excessive fines.
Justified or not, being charged with assault is a serious matter you should not take lightly.
Assault and Battery Legal Defense:
An Assault is an offense against another person or persons. The various forms of Assault in Texas are set forth in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of any given case, an assault charge can be anything from a fine only Misdemeanor up to a Felony Assault charge which could result in a lengthy prison sentence and/or a hefty fine..
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Texas Criminal Assault Defense
The law firm of Parnham and Associates handles offenses charged by both the State and Federal Court systems, nationally and within the State of Texas. The firm's extensive experience in criminal defense ranges from simple to complex litigation.
Simple assault in Texas is defined in Tex. Penal Code Ann. §22.01. and consists of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person; intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury, or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the offender knows or reasonably should know the victim will find provocative or offensive.
Any injury such as a broken bone, disfigurement or loss of a limb that requires surgery or hospitalization is a considered "serious bodily injury"; simple assault involves only minor bodily injury like a cut, scrape, or bruise. In fact, assault does not even require actual physical contact with another individual: simply threatening another person with violence may be considered assault if that person has a reasonable fear that the act will be committed.
For a threat to rise to the level of a criminal assault, the threat has to put the person in reasonable fear of injury. For the police to actually arrest you on the spot on an assault charge, they have to actually witness the act. If the police are not there to witness the assault, then they can write you a complaint (citation) or notice to appear in court, or they can seek an arrest warrant from a judge. The exception to this is with domestic assault or domestic violence accusations, in which case the police in Texas are authorized to arrest you and remove you from the premises.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.02. an assault is considered an aggravated assault if serious bodily injury is caused, and/or a deadly weapon is used or exhibited in committing the assault. "Bodily injury" does not necessarily require some sort of visible injury like a cut or bruise: in fact the legal definition includes mere physical pain. As a result, you can be charged with "Assault with Bodily Injury," if you are accused of merely slapping another person or pulling their hair.
The definition of "serious bodily injury" is more intuitive, meaning that the bodily injury "creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ."
In Texas, assault and battery laws carry penalties ranging from a "Class C" misdemeanor (monetary fine of up to $500) to a second degree felony (two to twenty years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000). The primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is always classified as either a first or second degree felony; generally it is prosecuted as a second degree felony, except in the following circumstances:
- The victim is either someone living in the household of the defendant, related to the defendant by blood or affinity (including foster parents or foster children), or in a "dating relationship" with the defendant;
- The defendant is a public servant acting under his/her office as a public servant; The victim is a public servant and was acting under his/her duties at the time of the crime, The victim is a security officer on duty at the time of the crime,
- The defendant was in a motor vehicle at the time of the crime and recklessly discharges a firearm in the direction of a building, vehicle or habitation without knowledge of whether it was inhabited and causes serious bodily injury to a victim.
A conviction of second degree felony carries a penalty of two to twenty years in state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. If the conviction is for first degree felony, the penalty imposed may be between 5 to 99 years in state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.
Criminal defense strategies applied in these situations need to be created for the particular offense, evidence involved and based upon the defendant's needs. Contact Parnham & Associates today at (713) 224.3967 or use our convenient online submission form. We will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Every arrest does not necessarily mean that the individual is guilty of committing simple assault, and every case has its own facts and circumstances.
The required intent can be met based upon recklessness; if the defendant is aware of some risk, but disregards the risk, they can still be liable for assault.
If an individual believed that an act is necessary to prevent harm to themselves or to protect their property from being stolen, they could be found to not have committed an assault: this self-defense argument can sometimes overlap and be used if an individual was defending/protecting another individual. Another defense against assault charges is that the actions were accidental if they were not intentional, knowing, or reckless. When the assault charge arises from threats, arguments can be raised that the complainant misinterpreted the actions of the accused.
Our attorneys are intimately familiar with all facets of criminal defense and may help clients with the following:
- Work to get the charges dropped or lowered
- Interview police, involved parties, and any possible witnesses to expose any lies or exaggerations
- Make sure that no evidence against our client was obtained illegally
- Conduct a thorough pre-trial investigation
- Employ a private investigator, ballistics expert, polygraphist, or any other experts that may be able to help strengthen our client's defense
- Obtain expert witnesses to testify on behalf of our clients
- Negotiate with prosecutors to make sure our clients face the minimum possible penalties
If you have been charged with criminal assault, including misdemeanor assault or felony aggravated assault, or if you are being investigated for state or federal assault charges, it is important to seek counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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The Law Office of Parnham & Associates
440 Louisiana St., Suite 200 (The Lyric Centre), Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 224.3967 | Fax: 713.224.2815
This is for general informational purpose only. This information: • DOES NOT represent a legal advice or opinion, • DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship, • DOES NOT account for community-supervision eligibility, special punishment issues, mandatory minimum confinement, enhancements, and "Exceptional Sentences" under Chapter 12 Subchapter D of the Texas Penal Code, • DOES NOT apply Corporations & Associations. • DOES NOT represent the unique circumstances of your case.