Fiercely Defending the Rights of Individuals Charged With Violent Crimes
If you or a family member have been arrested and charged with assault and battery charges, you must hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An assault conviction can have long-ranging consequences and put your freedom at risk.
However, many individuals misunderstand what assault and battery entails and the severe nature of the charges. Texas law defines assault and battery as two different crimes. Under the law, “assault” occurs when one person threatens another with bodily harm, whereas “battery” is when actual contact is made that results in an injury.
Texas takes a tough stance on any type of violent crime, and those convicted of assault and battery could be sentenced to time in jail or prison and forced to pay steep fines.
For these reasons, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced assault attorney who understands the complexities of Texas assault charges and the legal strategies that would be most effective for your case. Contact Drehner Law of Houston, TX, and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
What Are the Different Types of Assault Charges in Texas?
There are various forms of assault and battery charges, and whether the incident is charged with misdemeanor or felony assault depends on the severity and other circumstances involved in the case. Charges for assault and battery include:
Class C misdemeanor assault
The alleged assault did not cause the victim to suffer any physical harm. The defendant would be ordered to pay a maximum fine of $500 if convicted. Although this seems relatively mild, a conviction for Class C misdemeanor assault can still leave defendants with a permanent criminal record.
Class B misdemeanor assault
Any offensive conduct or injury directed at sports officials, security personnel, or emergency service workers is considered a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Class A misdemeanor assault
If the victim suffers physical harm, the defendant is charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Third-degree felony assault
A defendant will face third-degree felony assault charges if they physically harm a family member or if they have a previous conviction for family violence. A third-degree felony conviction can result in the defendant being sentenced to two to 10 years in prison with a maximum $10,000 fine.
Second-degree felony assault
If the defendant threatens harm to another person while armed with a deadly weapon, they can be charged with a second-degree felony. Sexual assault is also considered a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to two to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to 10,000.
When Could a Person Be Charged With a First-Degree Felony Assault?
First-degree felony assault charges are second only to capital offense charges in Texas. Individuals may be charged with a first-degree felony if the offense is committed against a person’s spouse, partner, another family member, or household resident or if they inflict serious bodily harm on the victim.
Additionally, an individual could be charged with a first-degree felony if they inflict serious bodily injuries on a police officer or the following individuals:
- An assault was committed against an on-duty or public servant in uniform.
- An assault was committed against a public servant while they were in the line of duty.
- An assault was committed against a public servant in retaliation against them.
- An assault committed against an informant or someone who reported a crime.
- An assault committed against someone who witnessed a crime.
- An assault was committed against a security officer while in the line of duty.
Texas law has stiff penalties associated with a first-degree felony conviction. Defendants convicted of first-degree felony assault charges can face a sentence anywhere from a minimum of 5 years up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Therefore, if you are facing felony charges, you must hire a criminal assault defense lawyer who has comprehensive experience in handling assault and battery charges. Contact our Drehner Law Houston office and ask to schedule a free consultation so that we may review your case.
Is Sexual Assault the Same Thing as Rape?
Where other states use the term “rape” to describe this type of violent offense, “sexual assault” is the legal term that is used in Texas. Sexual assault is also considered a second-degree felony. Individuals convicted of sexual assault face anywhere from two to 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000.
Furthermore, anyone who is convicted of sexual assault charges will be forced to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, but in most cases for life.
If the charges are upgraded to aggravated sexual assault, individuals are now looking at a first-degree felony. A defendant could be sentenced to between 5 and 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. As with any type of sexual assault conviction, the individual would have to register for life as a sex offender.
Finally, a sexual assault conviction can make it nearly impossible to find housing as there are areas they are not permitted to live in, such as near a school, church, or daycare center or obtain gainful employment.
If you have been charged with sexual assault, contact Drehner Law to learn how we can work to protect your freedom.
What Makes Your Houston Assault Defense Attorney the Best Choice For My Legal Needs?
If you are facing charges of domestic violence, an assault on a police officer, or any other type of assault charges, you must hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. A well-trained assault defense lawyer can offer you the legal advice you need to try and have your charges reduced or possibly dismissed.
The legal team of Drehner Law has a proven record of obtaining favorable client results, such as having charges reduced from aggravated to simple assault. Additionally, our assault attorney can determine if you need to use self-defense to prevent a third party from being injured.
You must seek legal representation immediately if you have been charged with assault. It may be challenging to locate potential witnesses who can support self-defense claims, or their memories quickly fade. Additionally, hiring an assault attorney promptly enables them to start at the beginning of your case rather than trying to play catch-up later.
A criminal conviction can change your life forever. Therefore, at Drehner Law, we make it our mission to help individuals by mounting a vigorous defense on their behalf. Our criminal defense lawyer and our entire legal team have in-depth knowledge of Texas criminal law and will put our experience to work for you.