With the high stakes involved with any criminal charge, you need an experienced criminal trial attorney by your side. Attorney Shannon Drehner brings her years of experience as a chief felony prosecutor to defend you when you need it most. Don't wait, contact us today.
Houston Assault Lawyer
Unique Insight. Zealous Advocacy. Personalized Representation.
In Texas, assault convictions come with harsh penalties. The offense considered the least serious carries a maximum fine of up to $500, and the most serious is penalized by up to 20 years in prison. That being said, regardless of the charge you're facing, being found guilty can have substantial impacts on you for years. A conviction can stay on your criminal record forever. Thus, if an employer, landlord, or other decision-maker pulls a background check, their final decision may be influenced by what they find on yours. You may be denied employment, housing, or even federal aid because of a mistake you made in the past. Because so much is on the line, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side who is ready, willing, and able to fight aggressively for you.
At Drehner Law, our Houston assault attorney has extensive experience handling even the toughest cases. Not only have we defended clients facing serious charges, but as a former prosecutor, we have tried over 80 jury trials in numerous types of criminal matters. Our experience shows that we know the law from both sides of the courtroom. We understand how the prosecution prepares for cases, and we also know how to develop effective defenses to challenge the allegations made against you.
What's Considered Assault in Texas?
Generally, assault occurs when someone injures or attempts to injure another person. This may include physical or mental harm.
Texas Penal Code § 22.01defines assault as:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to someone else;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening someone else with bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly physically contacting someone in an offensive or provocative manner
At Drehner Law, we recognize that there are two sides to every story. If you've been charged with assault, we'll take the time to learn about your situation from your point of view and craft a compelling defense for your case.
What Are the Penalties for Assault?
As mentioned earlier, the punishments for an assault conviction are severe. The exact penalties that can be imposed depend on several factors, including the type of conduct that led to the assault accusation, whom the offense was committed against, and whether the alleged offender has previous convictions.
Causing Bodily Injury to Another
Generally, causing bodily injury to someone else is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. The conviction penalties include up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
However, the charges and punishments can be enhanced under certain circumstances:
Third-degree felony: This level and degree is charged when the offense is committed against:
- A public servant performing their official duties or in retaliation for them doing so;
- A family or household member or a dating partner – if the alleged offender has a previous conviction or they committed the offense by choking or strangling the alleged victim;
- A government contractor working for a correctional facility while they were performing their official duties or in retaliation for them doing so;
- A security officer;
- Emergency services personnel, such as a firefighter or an emergency medical technician;
- A pregnant person to force an abortion; or
- A pregnant person
Assault is also a third-degree felony when the alleged offender is imprisoned and they commit the offense against an officer, employee, or contractor of the facility while that person was performing an official duty or in retaliation for doing so. In Texas, third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-degree felony: A person may be charged at this level when:
- They commit the offense against a peace officer or judge while they were performing official duties or in retaliation for them doing so; or
- They commit the offense against a family or household member or dating partner, they have been previously convicted, and they knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cut off the alleged victim's breathing or blood circulation.
Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Intentionally or Knowingly Threatening Bodily Injury or Causing Offensive or Provocative Physical Contact
Generally, threatening to physically harm someone or touching them in a way they would consider provocative or offensive is a Class C misdemeanor. It's penalized by a fine of up to $500.
The charges are enhanced as follows:
- Class B misdemeanor: A person faces this class of charge when they commit an assault against a sports participant – for instance, a referee or athlete – while they are performing duties or in retaliation for them doing so. A person found guilty can be incarcerated for up to 180 days and/or fined up to $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanor: This charge is levied when the assault involves offensive or provocative physical contact and it's against an elderly or disabled person. It can also be charged when the assault is against a pregnant person to force an abortion. A Class A misdemeanor is punished by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
We Provide the Defense You Need
At Drehner Law, we understand what's at stake when someone is charged with assault. That's why, when you turn to us for your defense, you will have a dedicated attorney on your side who will give your case the attention it deserves. We have a track record of success and have gotten cases dismissed and charges reduced for past clients facing accusations of assault.
Truly one of the hardest and most understanding lawyers that I have ever had.H. N.
She is very professional.A. Charco
My case dropped from a felony to a misdeamnor!M. Hicks