What is assault?
In Texas assault is defined as a PERSON who INTENTIONALLY, KNOWINGLY, or RECKLESSLY causes BODILY INJURY to another, including the person’s spouse.
In order for the government to successfully prosecute they must prove each above listed element beyond a reasonable doubt.
What does “Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” even mean?
- – Intentionally means the person had a conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.
- – Knowingly means the person was aware conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.
- – Recklessly mean the person is aware but disregards the result that will occur.
The government can prove their case using any one of the three culpable mental states, if proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
How much trouble are you in?
The most common question in Criminal Law is “I have been charged with (X), will I go to prison?” An attorney, who is familiar with the system, will be able to explain all your options to you. While the goal is always to achieve the best result possible, each case is different and presents a different way to achieve that goal. Below are the punishment ranges for certain offenses. The punishment ranges do not reflect the potential outcome of your case.
There are many different crimes that fall under assaultive offenses and many different punishment ranges.
Class C Misdemeanor (i.e. similar to a traffic ticket): punishable up to a $500 fine.
Assault resulting in contact that is regarded as ‘offensive’ or ‘provocative’.
Class A Misdemeanor: punishable up to one year in county jail and/or up to a $4,000 fine.
3rd Degree Felony: punishable from 2 – 10 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
Assault against a public servant performing duties;
Assault against member of household plus prior conviction involving – homicide, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, assault, continuous violence against the family;
Assault by choking;
Assault against security officer;
Assault against emergency services personnel;
Assault correctional/detention officer.
2nd Degree Felony: punishable from 2-20 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
Assault, member of household plus prior conviction involving – homicide, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, assault against a member of household by choking.
What is Aggravated Assault?
A person commits an assault and either causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
1st Degree Felony: punishable from 5 – 99 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
Assault with deadly weapon plus serious bodily injury against a member of household;
Assault with deadly weapon or serious bodily injury against a public servant acting under his/her office;
Assault with deadly weapon or serious bodily injury against a public servant performing duties;
Assault with deadly weapon or serious bodily injury with a witness;
Assault with deadly weapon or serious bodily injury against security officer performing duties;
Assault with serious bodily injury in a motor vehicle and discharges firearm at a house
What is enhancement?
Enhancement: An assault committed in a disaster area or evacuation area may be increased one punishment level. For example a 3rd Degree Felony becomes a 2nd Degree Felony. If you are charged with a Class A misdemeanor, the minimum confinement is enhanced to 180 days.
What is ‘Bodily Injury’?
‘Bodily Injury’ means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
Officers often ask the victim/complainant if they felt ‘pain’ or are ‘hurt’.
What is considered a ‘deadly weapon’?
Texas defines a deadly weapon as a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury; or anything that in the manner of its use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Texas has said a car, for example, can be a deadly weapon.
Under Texas law a conviction with a deadly weapon finding results in the person having to serve at least one half of their sentence before they are eligible for release.
If you need an experienced assault attorney do not hesitate to contact Palacios, Garza & Thompson online or at (956)318-0507.