Misdemeanor Assault Defense
In Texas, Assault can be a Class C Misdemeanor, Class A Misdemeanor, or a Felony. The Class C Misdemeanor is sometimes referred to as “Simple Assault.” You can be charged with simple assault if you “cause physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.” A regular Class A Assault is where a person “causes bodily injury to another.” In Texas, “bodily injury” means pain. For example, if someone pushes you, but it did not hurt, they may be charged with simple assault. If they push you and it hurts (even if there is no visible injury) they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault.
Felony Assault Defense
Felony assault, and there are different degrees, are generally charged when serious bodily injury occurs. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protected loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” An example may be one where a bone is broken during an assault. This is generally referred to as “aggravated assault.” Assault on a peace officer is also a felony offense and is charged when a person commits regular assault with the added element of it being against a public servant.
Punishment for Assault
The Class C Misdemeanor offense of simple assault is punishable by a fine only up to $500. It is possible to be charged with a simple assault involving domestic violence. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. Aggravated Assault or an enhanced domestic violence assault is a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Murder is a first degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Capital murder is considered a capital felony and is punishable by either life in prison or death. The good news is that there is no fine if you are convicted of capital murder. Manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony and is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.
If your case is dismissed it is probably eligible to be expunged. We always encourage our clients to pursue an expunction if they are eligible. An expunction allows you to legally deny that you were ever charged or arrested for a crime. It is a very worthwhile procedure and one that we can help you with.