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If you’re accused of assault, you can be represented by a proven Fort Bend assault lawyer.
With over 30 years as a criminal defense lawyer and as a former Texas Judge in this county, I understand what it takes to fight for you in the courts. An assault conviction can change your life forever. A judge’s decision is governed by Texas law, and several factors are taken into consideration to determine the outcome of the case.
The terms “assault” and “battery” are often linked together, but, in this state, they are treated as separate crimes. Assault refers to the threats of physical harm one individual makes towards another, while battery is the actions that result in bodily injury.
What many people don’t realize is that assault is considered an intentional tort, which allows victims to sue in civil court. This means that a conviction may result in criminal charges as well as civil charges. In a civil suit, the plaintiff files for monetary compensation for damages resulting from the assault. A Fort Bend assault attorney can help you fight the criminal charges, and a successful defense potentially reduces the likelihood of a civil suit.
In this state, there are three different definitions used to determine assault in court.
1. In the first definition, assault is knowingly or intentionally threatening another with imminent physical harm. This definition also applies when the threat occurs from one spouse to another.
2. In the second definition, assault is recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly injuring another person, including a spouse.
3. In the third definition, an assault occurs when one person knowingly or intentionally makes physical contact with another that the defendant understands would be perceived as provocative or offensive by the other person. As with the previous definitions, this one can also apply to situations involving spouses.
When the assault results in serious injury to the victim, Texas allows for the pursuit of an aggravated offense charge. The charge is deemed aggravated assault if a weapon is used to cause the injury.
Assault can apply to instances of domestic altercations. A qualified domestic violence lawyer Sugar Land understands the full legal ramifications in a domestic violence case. Assault can be a serious offense, including when it occurs between married individuals.
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The penalties incurred depend on the particulars of the case and which definition for assault is applied. The charge filed can be classified as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Hiring an effective Fort Bend assault lawyer can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of the case.
A misdemeanor conviction can be classified as either a class A, B, or C misdemeanor. These rulings are for assault cases that don’t result in serious injury and don’t involve a weapon. Physical contact is not necessary. A misdemeanor conviction can also occur in instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The least serious of these is the class C misdemeanor. People who receive this conviction in Texas can expect penalties of up to $500. The fine for a class B misdemeanor can be as high as $2,000 and can also result in the defendant serving jail time for up to 180 days.
The most serious misdemeanor conviction is class A. This conviction can lead to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. As an expert Fort Bend assault attorney, I will work with you to determine the best line of defense for your particular charges.
A felony offense is charged when the state’s attorney believes there is sufficient evidence to support the more serious conviction. This occurs when serious injuries are sustained due to the assault or if a weapon is involved. In other words, a felony charge is sought in aggravated offenses and for aggravated assault.
A defendant can receive a felony conviction when an assault against a spouse results in serious injury or if a weapon is used to threaten or harm the spouse. A domestic violence lawyer Sugar Land seeks to understand the circumstances of each case when mounting a defense.
A felony is classified as first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree. The penalty for a third-degree felony assault is a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail. If convicted of a second-degree felony, the defendant receives between two and 20 years of prison time and up to $10,000 in fines.
A first-degree conviction can bring the most stringent penalties in assault cases. The judge sentences the defendant anywhere from five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to the potential for financial hardship and time served, an assault conviction carries with it the potential for lasting consequences.
A misdemeanor conviction may also lead to a strain in your relationships and can damage your reputation. You risk losing your employment if the case involves a coworker. If convicted of a felony, you won’t be able to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition, obtain federal subsidized housing, welfare benefits, or apply for certain professional certifications and licenses.
At David Hunter Law Firm, we are committed to provide our clients with a solid defense based on a presumption of innocence and factual evidence. I have the expertise and experience to get you or your loved one the best possible outcome in court. Contact my office today at 281-265-1515 for more information or to set up a consultation.