How Is An Assault Charge Filed
After you are arrested for assault bodily injury, a case will be forwarded to a local district attorneys office for review by a criminal prosecutor. Generally, one of three things will happen:
- Prosecutors will accept a case immediately upon intake
- Prosecutors will send the case back to police for additional information or investigation and then accept it at a later date or
- Prosecutors will reject it outright.
If a case is accepted for prosecution, you will be formally charged with assault bodily injury and required to make an appearance in court. Before your first appearance, its important to contact an experienced assault bodily injury lawyer in Fort Worth.
Domestic Violence Defined And Punishment
Texas recognizes four different crimes of domestic violence: domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, domestic assault impeding breath and continuous violence against the family. These charges may be brought when an act of violence is committed against a family or household member, or someone the alleged offender is dating or has dated.
Domestic Violence Assault is committed when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly comes into physical contact with a family or household member which a) causes bodily injury, or b) the offender knows or should reasonably know the victim would find provocative or offensive.
Specifically, if the State of Texas alleges that you intentionally or knowingly contacted the alleged victim, the alleged victim was a family/household member or in a current or prior dating relationship, and it caused them pain, you could face the crime of Assault Bodily Injury Family Member. Under Texas criminal law, Assault Bodily Injury Family Member is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in a Texas county jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
First-degree felonies are punishable in Texas by a life-term or between five and 99 years, and a maximum fine of $10,000.
This charge can come without either previous assault leading to arrest or conviction, and the two assaults can be committed against different victims. This crime is a third-degree felony and is punishable by a prison sentence of up to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Assault Bodily Injury Texas Family Violence Dismissed Or Dropped
Written by Justin Wilson
As a domestic violence defense attorney based in Collin County, I make it my top priority to get your charge dropped to class c misdemeanor assault family violence or dismissed altogether. Prosecutors, however, view domestic violence in Texas as a serious problem, and they dont drop domestic violence charges just because the complaining witness now says they dont want to press charges anymore. Thats why its so important that you have an experienced domestic violence defense attorney in your corner. Dropping charges for domestic violence in Texas requires convincing prosecutors not only that justice demands a charge reduction or dismissal, but also that they cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the Texas penal code. to call for a free consultation.
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Criminal Defense Lawyers In Collin County For Clients Charged With Injuring Another Person
In the state of Texas, the laws that govern offenses related to assault are quite complex. There are literally dozens of variables and factors that prosecutors must take into account when deciding on the severity of the charges to file against a suspect accused of assaulting someone else. With so much uncertainty, it understandable that, if you are facing assault charges, you might be feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unsure about your future. The good news is that you do not have to handle the situation on your own. Our team is here to help.
At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., we know that Texas courts punish those who are convicted of assault harshly, especially in cases where the victim suffered bodily injury. Our attorneys also understand how to build an aggressive defense against charges of assault causing bodily injury. We have successfully helped many clients facing assault charges, and we are ready to put our experience and skills to work for you.
What Makes My Assault Case A 3rd Degree Felony
Usually a case is a Class A misdemeanor. It becomes a 3rd degree felony for a few different reasons. The first of which is if the actor knew the person was a public servant lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation for performance of an official duty as a public servant. Secondly as mentioned early, the defendant was previously convicted of an assault family violence charge or given deferred adjudication. Thirdly, it is a 3rd degree felony to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly impede the normal breathing or circulation of blood of a person by applying pressure to the persons throat or neck or blocking the persons nose or throat.
Also assaulting a security officer or emergency services personnel who is performing duty is a 3rd degree felony. It is a felony to force a pregnant woman to have an abortion. A government contract worker in a correctional or detention facility, if assaulted, will be charged as a 3rd degree felony.
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Enhanced Domestic Assault Under Texas Law
In Texas, assault on a family memberbetter known as domestic assaultis a serious criminal offense. Although Texas law generally treats domestic assault as a misdemeanor, the charge may be enhanced to a felony if you have a previous domestic assault conviction. If you are facing a felony charge for assault on family, you should know how Texas law defines the crime and what penalties you could face if convicted.
Assault on family has a broad definition under Texas law. It includes violence against anyone who lives with you, anyone you are related to by law or by blood, and anyone with whom you have had a romantic relationship. Any physical contact can be considered assault, even if it causes no bodily harm, if the contact is deemed offensive or provocative. . It is also assault if you threaten to physically hurt someone, even if no physical contact occurs.
Domestic assault is normally considered a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. However, if you have previously been convicted of assault on a family member, the charge is enhanced to a third degree felony. If you have a previous conviction and the present offense involves choking or suffocation, it may be charged as a second degree felony, which carries even heavier consequences.
What Is A Family Violence
The Texas Penal code refers to Texas Family Code to define family violence as seen below. If a person has previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for family violence, then the new accusation is a 3rd degree felony.Sec. 71.004. FAMILY VIOLENCE. Family violence means:
an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself
abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001, , , , , , , and , by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household or
dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.
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What You Do While On Bond Can Impact Your Case
While it is true you are presumed innocent, youre going to be bound by certain bond conditions after your arrest, including not having any contact with the alleged victim. A common mistake is trying to take matters into your own hands to circumvent bond conditions. Theres a proper way to get bond conditions changed. It takes time, but you cannot afford to have any missteps while the case is pending.
What You Should Know About Felony Domestic Violence In Texas
In the past, it was not uncommon for many domestic violence charges in Texas to be and often were dropped altogether. That changed with the latest round of Texas criminal justice reforms, which automatically charge repeat domestic violence offenders with a felony, making it more important than ever to fight back.
Todays post provides the basics about domestic violence, what penalties convictions carry, and how the criminal courts currently view these cases.
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Texas and need help negotiating reduced charges and getting back on the right track, an experienced Texas family violence attorney can help. The Fulgham Law Firm is in Fort Worth, Texas and we have extensive experience helping wrongfully charged citizens navigate the North Texas criminal court system and have a track record of achieving favorable results for our clients using some of the techniques and methods discussed in this article.
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What Are The Penalties For Violation Of A Family Protective Order
Violating a family protective order, such as by having prohibited contact with the victim, constitutes a class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a class A misdemeanor includes up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. If the defendant has two or more convictions for violating a family protective order or violated the order by committing an assault or stalking, the resulting charge can be a third-degree felony. Repeated violations of an order within a 12-month period, even without a conviction, also constitute a third-degree felony. This felony-level offense carries 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Types Of Assault Charges In Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01 assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing or threatening bodily injury to another person or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another person with the knowledge that the person will consider that contact to be offensive or undesirable.
There are various types of assault charges in Texas, which will determine whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
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What Is Assault Causing Bodily Injury
The Texas Penal Code also provides a definition of assault with bodily injury. Simply put, this crime occurs when a perpetrator commits an act of assault that causes pain to the alleged victim. The assault does not have to leave a mark on the victims body for bodily injury to occur. The perpetrator must commit this act in an intentional, knowing, or reckless manner.
The state of Texas categorizes assault in a number of different ways, and assault charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. When it comes to assault with bodily injury, Texas defines it as a Class A misdemeanor. Under these circumstances, an act of assault results in bodily injury and no aggravating factors occur, such as the use of a weapon or a serious injury.
What Is Misdemeanor Assault In Texas
In Texas, there are basically four categories of misdemeanor assault:
According to Section 22.01 of Texas Penal Code, a person commits misdemeanor assault in Texas if he or she:
- intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another including their spouse
- intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury or
- intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another that is provocative or offensive .
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Its Important To Put Your Best Foot Forward
Just because you may not have done anything wrong, doesnt mean you shouldnt mount an aggressive defense. Gathering mitigation materials and attending classes or performing community service to set yourself apart from others charged with the same offense may make the difference between getting a dismissal or not.
The Definition Of Assault In Texas
Definitions of assault range from state to state, and Texas has a specific statute that outlines what constitutes an act of assault. According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits assault when at least one of the following elements is present at the time of the crime.
- The perpetrator intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to the alleged victim.
- The perpetrator knowingly or intentionally threatens the alleged victim with impending bodily injury.
- The perpetrator commits an act of physical contact, either knowingly or intentionally, that the perpetrator knows or should know would be offensive or provocative to the alleged victim.
Under this definition, assault can come in many different forms in the state of Texas. Flashing a knife at someone during a fight at a local bar could be a threat in the eyes of Texas law, as would violently shoving into someone after a verbal altercation.
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Assault With Injury Family Violence
- Causing bodily injury to another person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. A reckless act is not necessarily with intent to harm another but is more focused on the outcome of an action. For example, if you are throwing objects in someones direction but not intending to hit them, it could be considered reckless assault.
- Causing physical contact with another that you know, or should reasonably know, the victim will find provocative or offensive. Provocative or offensive contact is an act that isnt causing direct physical injury or pain but causes the victim to feel violated. This can encompass a wide range of actions, like poking someone in the chest during an argument or brushing up against a person in an offensive manner. This type of contact is typically filed as a Class C misdemeanor.
If you have no prior domestic assault convictions, domestic assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If you have any prior domestic assault convictions, it is considered a third-degree felony.
Aggravated Assault Of A Family Member
Aggravated assault of a family member occurs if a person:
- Causes serious injury to another person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. Some serious injuries include broken bones, disfigurement, loss of a limb, serious head injury, or an injury that requires surgery and/or hospitalization.
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon while committing an assault crime. This can include threatening another with injury or engaging in offensive conduct. A deadly weapon is any object that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Weapons like a firearm or large knife are deadly weapons by definition. However, everyday items like a rope, baseball bat, or wrench could be considered deadly weapons because of how they are used. Even a motor vehicle could be considered a deadly weapon.
This crime is a first-degree felony if the aggravated domestic assault causes serious bodily injury and is with a deadly weapon. Any other form of aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony.
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Assault Family Violence Penalties
A first assault family violence charge is a Class A misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
If you have a previous family violence record, a new assault family violence allegation becomes a felony. See our Assault Family Violence Enhanced page for more information on felony family violence offenses.
Family violence assaults that include impeding breathing or circulation are felony charges. See our Assault Family Violence Impeding Breathing or Circulation page for more information.
For more information about domestic violence charges generally, see our domestic violence page.
Texas Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Member Levels
There are many varieties of assault cases with various levels of accusations. The most minor charge is Assault by Contact or Threat and is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas It is punishable by fine only. This charge requires the mental state of intentionally or knowingly. It will need more specific intent than the rest of the assault statute. This means a person cannot recklessly cause assault by physical contact and be found at fault of violating a law. The next higher assault charge requires intentionally, knowingly or recklessly mental state while committing the act.
Reckless means with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. Also a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise from the actors standpoint.
In order for the prosecution to prove reckless, they must produce a prima facie case of defendants actual, subjective disregard of the risk of a resulting injury which rises to the level of a gross deviation from an ordinary standard of conduct.
The states indictment must allege with reasonable certainty the act or acts relied upon. It means needs to say more than just acted recklessly in committing the offense.
Assault by Contact against an elderly or disabled person is a Class A misdemeanor.
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Texas Misdemeanor Assault Charges
In Texas, misdemeanor assault charges are common. Some might say its because Texans like to fight, especially in places where alcohol runs freely. And while that may be true, the reality is that misdemeanor assault charges cover a broad range of behavior that doesnt involve taking swings or throwing punches. For example, in Texas, you can be charged with misdemeanor assault for spitting on someone or just threatening to harm them but not actually carrying it out.
In this article, the attorneys at Varghese Summersett break down the various types of Texas misdemeanor assault charges and answer some of your most pressing questions.
What Is An Affidavit Of Non
An affidavit of non-prosecution is a sworn statement from a complaining witness in a criminal case that explains why the witness requests that the state dismiss the charges against the defendant. There are many different reasons why a complaining witness will write an ANP, and they can be very helpful to someone who’s been charged with assault family violence in some instances.
It’s important to note, though, that a prosecutor is not required by law to accept an ANP as bindingin other words, there is no law that the state must drop the case when the complaining witness asks them to. On the other hand, the state’s attorney has a more difficult job proving a case where the witness has asked for the charges to be dropped. When the complaining witness explains the reasons for wanting the case dismissed, including a valid defense that applies to the defendant in this case or a mistake of fact in the police report that caused confusion, the prosecutor is more likely to look at an ANP as a good reason to withdraw the charges.
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