Assault & Battery

Assault And Battery

If you are facing domestic assault charges, aggravated assault charges, or other criminal assault charges, you need the experience of a Houston lawyer well versed in criminal assault defense. All of these types of assault charges can be extremely serious, and lead to severe penalties. The prosecution may charge you with misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, depending on the specific circumstances of of your case. Having a knowledgeable criminal assault attorney in your corner, looking out for your rights and your future, is of the utmost importance when charged with this type of crime.

What is Assault?

The crime of assault lies specifically in the threat of harm; you can be charged with assault under Texas criminal code if you do any of the following:
1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, including your husband, wife or romantic partner.
2. Intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with some type of bodily harm, including your husband, wife or romantic partner.
3. Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when you know that physical contact will be seen as provocative or offensive.

In other words, while you can certainly be charged with assault should you punch, kick or choke someone, you can also be charged with assault if another person has a reasonable fear that you are going to hurt them. Even the simple act of poking another person in the chest with your finger can be considered assault. If you and a family member are yelling at one another and a neighbor calls the police, should you be angry and belligerent toward the police officer you may be arrested with little to no evidence of assault.

Penalties for Assault

While simple assault is usually charged as a misdemeanor (Class A) if there is nothing more than a minor injury involved, it can still be punished by a penalty up to $4,000. If the prosecutor chooses to bump the charges up to a more serious third-degree felony, you could be facing from twenty-four months to a decade in a Texas prison. Simple assault can often be turned into a third-degree felony when you committed the assault against a member of your family, if you knew the person was a governmental contractor or some type of public servant, or if you were aware the person was an emergency services employee or security guard. If only pushing or threats were involved, you could be charged with a misdemeanor (Class C), a more serious Class A misdemeanor if the assault was against an elderly person and a Class B misdemeanor if the victim was a person who officiates sports events.

When a Weapon is Involved

The stakes go up significantly should you be charged with causing serious bodily damage or using a deadly weapon while committing an assault. If you commit aggravated assault with a weapon you could face second-degree felony charges which carry a penalty of from two to 20 years in a Texas prison and a fine as much as $10,000. Aggravated assault can turn into a first-degree felony when a weapon was used in the assault against a known public official, security guard, informant, witness to a crime, or in the case of domestic violence where there was a serious bodily injury. A first degree felony conviction for aggravated assault can lead to a sentence of five years to life in prison.

The Cost of an Assault Conviction

When you are facing an assault charge you need an aggressive defense from a highly experienced Houston criminal defense attorney who has extensive background in assault crimes. The lawyers of Sullo & Sullo have this level of knowledge and can handle assault allegations of the most violent nature. An assault crime conviction can not only land you in jail and cost you serious amounts of cash—they can prevent you from future employment or a career you have worked many years for. It is very important that you understand your legal rights; our attorneys will ensure they have explained your position and your options to you and make you a partner in developing a successful defense strategy.

Defenses to an Assault Offense

You must have an attorney who is ready to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf if you have been charged with the crime of assault. Some typically-used defenses can include being intoxicated, acting in self-defense, stating the allege victim consented, acting in protection of another, or lacking the required intention to commit battery. A person is generally allowed to use reasonably necessary force to protect themselves or another from bodily harm, although whether this will be an accepted defense is usually left up to the jury. It can be difficult for a person who initiates a fight to claim self-defense unless his or her opponent responded with an unnecessary degree of force. Coming to the aid of another person can be a valid defense, and in most states individuals are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to protect their property, although deadly force is sometimes permitted, but only if you are attempting to prevent a felony.

If you were part of a misunderstanding which ended in a drunken shoving match or was a party to a heated argument in your own home, you may be shocked when you are arrested and charged with assault. No matter how you view the situation, the law takes a harsh view of such scenarios and the consequences of an assault charge are almost always beyond what you would expect. The lawyers of Sullo & Sullo will conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine what really happened, and will review police reports and speak to witnesses. While we will review any plea negotiation that appears to be in your best interests, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial should it appear to be the best way to protect your future and your freedom. The attorneys at Sullo & Sullo, LLP are here to help.

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