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Granbury Assault Lawyer

Being accused of a crime can have a detrimental impact not only on a person’s livelihood but also on their reputation, particularly in a small town. However, an accusation is different from a guilty verdict. This is especially true when a person is accused of assault. A guilty verdict after an assault trial can carry severe penalties. At The Law Firm of William A. Walsh, our team can provide the defense you deserve.

Granbury Assault Lawyer

Assault Charges

Texas has clear laws on what is categorized as an assault. To be charged with assault, an offense must involve one or more of the following:

  • Knowingly, deliberately, or recklessly causing physical harm to another person
  • Knowingly or deliberately threaten another person with physical injury
  • Knowingly or deliberately making physical contact with another person with the intent to provoke or offend

These charges can be upgraded to a more serious form of assault referred to as aggravated assault. If the supposed assault also causes serious bodily injury or involves a deadly weapon, Texas statutes dictate that “aggravated” can be added to the charge.

For any assault charge, the prosecution must prove one of the following:

  • There was an intent to cause injury.
  • You were aware that you would cause an injury.
  • You realized that you would cause an injury.

Potential Penalties for Assault

When facing an assault charge, the first question may be what kind of penalties may occur if you are found guilty. Assault, on its own, is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can carry a fine of up to $4,000 and a potential jail sentence of up to one year. However, the charges can become a third-degree felony if the alleged assault occurs against:

  • A public servant who is lawfully discharging or acting in the course of their official duties
  • A person who lives with the defendant, a blood relational, or romantic partner
  • A security officer while the officer is performing their duties as a security officer
  • Emergency services personnel while the person is providing emergency services

If the charge is upgraded for one of these reasons, the punishment also rises. As a third-degree felony, a person could face two to ten years in state prison and financial penalties of up to$10,000. Even if it is not considered to be an aggravated assault, the charge could be upgraded to a second-degree felony if the incident is severe enough. This increases the potential prison time to 20 years.

Aggravated assault is classified as a second-degree felony and has the potential to be upgraded to a first-degree felony. This situation may arise if, for example, a deadly weapon was used in the incident and there was severe bodily injury to a family member. In this case, the penalty would result in a prison term of no less than five years and could potentially be raised to life in prison.

Assault by Contact vs. Assault by Threat

Assault is classified in two ways: by contact or by threat. Often, assault by contact is also deemed a battery. Assault by contact is when a person knowingly or intentionally makes physical contact with another individual with the purpose of causing injury or bodily harm. Assault by threat is the occurrence of verbally threatening someone with either bodily harm or physical contact that would result in bodily harm.

Both are classified at the base level as misdemeanors, but circumstances surrounding the charges can enhance them to felony charges.

Many people assume that if they engage in a fist fight, for instance, they may face assault charges. However, it may not be classified as either a contact or a threat. In any incident of violence, there is the presumption of circumstances. If, in the case of a fist fight, both parties "consented" to the altercation, it may not be classified as assault. In these situations, however, there is frequently a "winner" and a "loser." Many times, the person who came out on the wrong end of the fight attempts to file charges against the other. Witness testimony plays a key role in these circumstances, as there may be proof that the altercation was not unexpected. In these situations, neither type of assault can be assumed.

Defending an Assault Charge

As mentioned, the accusation of a crime does not mean it was committed or even committed by the person who is accused. There are several ways to defend an assault charge. These include:

  • Showing that there was no intent on causing bodily harm or that the bodily harm was unforeseeable.
  • Disproving the accuser by proving there were no grounds for believing the threat or that the threat could be carried out.
  • Proving that the defendant was unaware that the accuser would find the contact offensive or provocative.
  • Proving that the incident was an act of self-defense by showing that the accused was reacting to the threat of violence to protect themselves. However, for this defense, the defense must equal the threat and cannot be considered “extreme.”
  • Showing that the accused was acting in the defense of others under the same stipulations as a person acting in their own defense.
  • As Texas is a “stand your ground” state, proving that the accused was defending their property and relied on the use of reasonable force to do so.

Once the charges have been filed, the alleged victim cannot drop the charges. They can do everything in their power to be uncooperative with the case, but only the prosecutor is able to formally and legally drop the charges.

Assault vs. Battery

Many times, these terms are used in conjunction with one another. However, they are two separate offenses for which a person could be charged. People often confuse them with each other because, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime, they are often filed together. The major distinction between the two is that assault is the threat of bodily injury, whereas battery is the contact that causes bodily injury. In many cases, the cases that include battery are often charged simply as assault, but both charges carry the potential for similar fines and prison terms.

Other Forms of Assault

While threatening another person with bodily harm is a common form of assault, the term can often be applied to other criminal offenses, such as:

  • Sexual and aggravated sexual assault. This type of assault occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally causes non-consensual penetration of bodily organs. It is elevated to aggravated status if there is kidnapping, serious bodily injury, or an attempt to kill the victim as part of the sexual assault.
  • Causing injury to an elderly person, child, or disabled individual. If one of these parties is assaulted, the charges may be increased and the punishments will be more severe.
  • Child abandonment or endangerment. It is considered an assault if a responsible adult leaves a child under the age of 15 without sufficient care.
  • Deadly conduct. When a person misuses a firearm that puts another person in danger, the offense could be characterizedas an assault.
  • Terroristic threats. This is added to assault charges when a person threatens harm to a specific group of individuals or attempts to disrupt normal public service operations.
  • Suicide assistance. Providing assisted suicide treatments to other individuals is illegal in Texas and can be consideredan assault, depending on the circumstances.
  • Consumer product tampering. If there is a legitimate cause to believe that a specific product was tampered with in an attempt to cause harm or bodily injury, this could result in an assault charge.
  • Harassment at correctional facilities. Even if a person is in prison, they are still protected by the law. This clause is in place to protect prisoners and public servants alike from the risk of threat or bodily injury.

Hiring a Granbury Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are charged with an assault in Granbury, Texas, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When you quickly bring a criminal lawyer into your team after you are arrested, you can benefit from their expertise and ensure that all your rights are protected from the onset. A trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney will immediately help you navigate the legal system and ensure that the right, if any, charges are filed. While acquittal is the goal in any criminal defense case, a reduction of charges can help to protect you from a felony that could be costly to your employment, residence, and reputation.

At The Law Firm of William A. Walsh, we know how to get to work for you. With over 25 years of experience, our trusted team understands that the defense you receive is critical to the outcome of your case, and we are ready to bring that knowledge to your side. Our team can immediately begin investigating the facts and evidence of your case and work to bring you the best possible outcome. If you or someone you love is charged with assault, contact our offices right away. Our Christian-based law firm is ready to provide you with compassionate counsel and knowledgeable legal advice.

  • Testimonials Five Stars
    My experience with Mr. William Walsh has been nothing less than extraordinary. From the telephone conversation, our first consultation, to the proceedings, Mr. Walsh was very professional in every aspect. He treated me with understanding to my situation, demonstrated compassion, very honest, very meticulous, and performed with great care and completeness. You and your situation are his motivating force. He was very methodical in every aspect.

    - Bob Coleman

  • Testimonials Five Stars
    People need a family lawyer. I cannot express how good this lawyer is. Very highly recommended. You will definitely get your money’s worth and then some with Mr. Walsh. Very highly recommended! Best of luck!

    - Gabriel Pena



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