An assault charge can be defined legally as just the attempt to hurt someone physically. Attempting to hurt someone, or even a threat to use force which makes the victim anxious that harmful contact will occur in the future can be classified legally as assault. If a deadly weapon is used during the perpetration of a crime, the charge becomes aggravated assault, even if no injury occurred. In today’s society, the majority of assault charges involve family members or significant others during the heat of an argument when tension is high. Once the police have been called, a relatively minor incident which could have been resolved through a cooling off period has turned into a criminal case.
Carl David Ceder has a solid history of representing those accused of assault and related misdemeanor and felony crimes. Carl is experienced and highly cognizant of Texas assault law and will be aggressive in the defense of such charges. Carl can defend his clients against all types of criminal assault charges.
Assault is defined under the Texas Penal Code as follows:
Section 22.01 Texas Penal Code. ASSAULT
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;
3) intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
What this law essentially says is that even if you just tell someone you are going to beat them up, but don’t follow through, giving that person a reasonable fear you will hurt them, you can still be charged with assault. If the police don’t feel you are thoroughly cooperating with their questions, they may arrest you with little evidence. If this is the situation you are faced with, you need an aggressive attorney to fight to PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.
When an intimate partner or family member exerts control over the actions of another through physical violence, threats, intimidation, isolation, sexual, emotional or economic abuse, it is legally classified as domestic violence. When these types of assault take place between those living in the same house, a situation can escalate out of control. Soon, the courts, social workers, and victims’ rights group are involved, and what might have simply been an argument with minor physical contact is now an incidence involving criminal charges. The definition of Texas Family violence is the reckless infliction of pain on a family or household member, and charges will be filed by the police rather than the alleged victim. In fact, many times, after emotions have calmed, the victim will actually repudiate the charges, even signing a non-prosecution affidavit — however at this point it is often too late for the charges to be dismissed. The victim of a domestic violence incident can choose to file an Order of Protection, requiring the offender to stay away from the home and the victim, as well as pay necessary child support, and return all personal property. While an Order of Protection generally remains in effect for 60-90 days, domestic violence cases can become even more complicated if the two parties work together or have children.
Family Violence Consequences
If you have been convicted of family violence, you will be unable to purchase or possess a firearm for the rest of your life; other serious punishments and repercussions exist as well. You will have a conviction on your record which will never, ever go away, even after you have performed every stipulation of the court, including probation. If you should ever be charged a subsequent time with an assault, it immediately becomes a felony due to your first conviction.
Should you be charged with an assault, there is the possibility it can become a third-degree felony should the state prove you:
1) Committed the assault against a family member or someone with whom you are in a romantic relationship, and you have a previous family violence finding;
2) Knew the person was a public servant or government contractor carrying out official duties, or if you committed the assault on a public servant in retaliation for doing his job;
3) Knew the person was a security guard or emergency services worker, and you committed the assault while the person was doing his job.
If you use a weapon during an assault, it will be charged as an aggravated assault, which is a 2nd-degree Felony with a possible range of punishment of 2-20 years in a Texas prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If the case is one where a weapon is used during an incidence of domestic violence, or if a weapon is used in the assault of a public official, security guard, informant or witness to a crime, the charges can become a 1st-degree felony with a range of punishment from 5 years to life.
Even if you did technically commit an assault upon another individual, there are several defenses which may be available to you in certain circumstances. Defending one's self is an "affirmative defense. In Texas, you are allowed self-defense as an alternative defense, which basically means that you did commit the assault, but did so because you had a valid, but legal, reason for doing so. For example, if you were under the impression your assault was necessary to prevent another from harming you, then this could potentially would suffice as a viable self-defense argument. Self-defense is defined according to 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code. If you were defending another from the threat or actuality of physical harm, this could also be an argument used as a defense. Finally, if your assault on another was purely accidental or the other person misinterpreted your actions, or if you are defending your property, you may also may be able to present a defense.