Violent crimes are among the most severely punished in Texas, which makes the stakes incredibly high if you’ve been arrested or charged with an offense such as assault.
As the former District Attorney in charge of prosecuting all Assault Crimes in Collin County for over 20 years, and a former Police Officer, we know how the other side is thinking and can best evaluate your case.
We assist with JAIL RELEASE, call us today!Collin County Attorneys Defend Clients Facing Assault Charges
Assault and Battery Criminal Defense Lawyers in Plano, Texas
An accusation that you committed a violent crime can be devastating. Not only are you confronting the possibility of spending a significant amount of time in jail or prison, but when your friends, neighbors, or business colleagues learn that you were arrested or charged, they may never look at you the same way again. That’s why it’s so important to contact a Houston felony attorney as soon as possible when you’re charged with a violent crime.
If you’re convicted of a violent crime, you can lose everything that you’ve worked to build or that you dream of accomplishing in the future. The consequences of a conviction are far-reaching, and may include:
- A jail or prison sentence — up to life for some offenses
- The possibility of the death penalty if you’re charged with capital murder
- Expensive fines, fees, and payments for victims
- A requirement to attend anger management therapy or other forms of counseling
- A permanent criminal record that can impact your job or career
- Enhanced penalties for multiple felony convictions
- The stigma of being convicted of a violent crime
- Effects on your professional licensing if you work as a teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, or other type of licensed professional
- Loss of your right to vote or possess firearms
- Effects on your custody or visitation rights for your children
- Effects on your immigration status, including possible deportation
Assault is a crime of violence against another person. It is not necessary to have caused actual physical harm; rather a threat of violence towards another person is sufficient for a charge or conviction. Assault can range from simple assault to more violent crimes such as aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, where serious bodily injury is inflicted.
An assault offense in Texas can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the facts of a particular case. Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony assault charges, a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, which may have a number of consequences on your career and personal life.
The Law Office of J.L. Pierce has extensive experience defending clients accused of assault crimes. We defend clients charged with all misdemeanor and felony assault cases.
If you are accused of assault and battery, do not delay. Call our Plano office at (972) 423-0331 or e-mail us today for a free initial consultation. We are skilled trial attorneys prepared to develop a strong defense strategy.Defending Clients Facing Assault Charges
Defense attorney J.L. Pierce is a former prosecutor and police officer with more than 25 years of experience. He is joined by criminal defense lawyer Tom O'Connell, who served as Collin County's elected criminal district attorney. Our legal team's clear understanding of how the other side works helps us defend clients accused of:
- Assault and battery — The term “assault” can include several different types of actions, some of which many people may not commonly think of as an assault. If you’ve been charged with assault, an experienced violent crimes lawyer can explain your charges and your options for defending your case. Learn more about assault charges in Texas and the possible consequences of a conviction.
- Aggravated assault — Aggravated assault involves causing serious injury or assaulting someone while using or exhibiting a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is a serious charge that requires a solid defense strategy if you want to avoid long-term consequences. Learn more about how aggravated assault is defined in Texas and what might happen if you’ve been charged.
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Domestic assault, Family violence and spousal abuse — An assault charge involving a family member, romantic partner, or former romantic partner is a serious matter in Texas. A conviction can have numerous consequences that affect you for years or decades to come. Learn more about domestic violence in Texas and the possible outcomes of a criminal charge.
- Bar fights, street fights, and violent crimes
Domestic violence and assault are serious charges. The district attorney's office may choose to prosecute even if the alleged victim refuses to pursue charges or testify. A domestic abuse arrest may lead to a restraining order or protective order being filed, which can effectively dismantle a family, leaving the party charged with domestic violence locked out of their house and cut off from their children.
Our attorneys prepare every case for trial, reviewing evidence and other facts critical for an effective defense. We determine whether our clients felt in danger or acted in self-defense. If a trial is not in your interest, defense lawyer J.L. Pierce will negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced sentence. Schedule a Free Initial Consultation.
If you have been charged with assault and battery or for making terroristic threats, do not delay. Contact our law firm at (972) 423-0331 or by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation.Texas Assault Charges Defined
Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, a person commits assault if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Causes bodily injury to another,
- Threatens another with imminent bodily injury, or
- Causes physical contact with another when the actor knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
Bodily injury means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. This would include minor injuries, such as a cut or bruise, or even something as minimal as a red mark. However, you can be charged with assault even if the alleged victim does not suffer any bodily injury or come into physical contact with the accused.Penalties for a Texas Assault Conviction
Depending on the circumstances, an assault can either result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Unless the victim is elderly, disabled or a participant in a sporting event, an assault involving only touching or threats, is a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor carries a potential fine of up to $500.
If the victim is elderly or disabled, the assault is a Class A misdemeanor. If the accused knows the victim is an athlete or sports official or is retaliating against an athlete or sports official, the assault is a Class B misdemeanor.
A simple assault that results in minor injury is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment upon conviction of:
- 1 year in county jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
An assault can be enhanced to a third-degree felony if:
- You commit an assault family violence offense and you have a previous assault family violence conviction
- You know the victim is a public servant and the assault occurs while he or she is carrying out his or her duties or in retaliation for carrying out his or her duties
- You know the victim is a security officer or emergency service personnel and the assault occurs while that individual is doing his or her job.
A third degree felony carries a punishment of:
- 2 to 10 years in a state prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
There are essentially two categories of defenses to assault charges. The first involves disputing the evidence presented by the prosecution that you committed an assault.
The second is an affirmative or justification defense. Self-defense is the most common defense raised in assault cases. With a self-defense argument, you are presenting evidence that your actions were justified under the circumstances. To raise a self-defense argument under Texas Penal Code Section 9.31, the defense must present evidence that the defendant reasonably believed the force was immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.
The main issue tends to be whether your belief that force was immediately necessary to protect yourself was reasonable and if you acted reasonably under the circumstances. In other words, it is not only a question of whether the accused had a reasonable belief that force was immediately necessary to protect yourself or another, but whether the force used was proportional to the threat.
Self-defense does not apply to verbal provocation alone or if you were the one who provoked the fight. Making a self-defense argument is fact-dependent and must be accurately presented.
There may also be circumstances, such as an alleged assault during a sporting event, in which you can argue that the individual consented to the assault.
However, each case is unique and you should call the Law Offices of J.L. Pierce at (972) 423-0331, or use the online contact form, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your individual case.