Certified Kerrville Criminal Attorney Helps Clients Charged with Assault
With 40 years of experience defending assault and battery cases in Texas
Penal codes in most states define assault as a threat of violence against another person and battery as actual bodily contact causing injury. In Texas, the term “assault” covers both of these actions. It also includes touching another person in a way that they would likely regard as offensive or provocative. Assault charges can increase in severity based on the degree of harm inflicted, the identity of the victim and the circumstances in which the conduct allegedly occurred. At the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C., I have been helping clients charged with all types and levels of assault since 1980. My knowledge and experience in criminal defense have earned me certification by the state in criminal law.
Types of assault in Texas
Texas has different charges for specific levels and types of assault:
- Assault — Also known as simple assault, it can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony depending on the presence or lack of intent, the victim’s relationship to the defendant and the victim’s vocational status — for example, a judge, police officer or other public servant.
- Aggravated assault — When an assault causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or involves use or exhibiting of a deadly weapon during its commission, it is a second-degree or first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances and victim.
- Sexual assault — Nonpermissive sexual penetration of an adult without consent, or sexual contact or penetration of a victim under the age of 17, is a second-degree felony in most instances.
- Aggravated sexual assault — This a sexual assault accompanied by one or more aggravating factors, such as causing serious bodily injury, using or displaying a deadly weapon, making threats of human trafficking or administering an impairing substance. It includes a sexual assault committed against a victim under age 14. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
A felony carries much greater fines and prison time than a misdemeanor. In Texas, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and no jail time, while a first-degree felony can draw a prison sentence of five years to life and a fine of up to $10,000. Penalties for any of these crimes can be enhanced due to aggravating conduct during the crime or the existence of a prior criminal record.
Pursuing all potential defenses to assault charges
- Disputing evidence — The prosecution’s case may be challenged for inconsistencies in evidence or testimony, including witnesses’ bias and flaws in conducting a lineup or photo array.
- Claiming self-defense — If your actions were reasonable to prevent harm to you or another person, this can be a complete defense to the assault charge.
To make sure that all potential avenues of defense are explored, you owe it to yourself to entrust your case to a qualified assault defense attorney.
Contact a board-certified criminal defense lawyer for Texas assault crimes
If you have been charged with any type of assault, discuss your options with a state-certified criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. at 830-955-8168 for an appointment, or contact my Kerrville office online.