Being charged with assault in Texas is a serious matter. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction could result in a lengthy prison sentence, fines and lasting damage to your reputation. In addition, having a permanent criminal record can interfere with future employment and housing opportunities. If you are facing assault charges, it is crucial to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Ceja Law Firm is a premier criminal defense practice representing clients throughout the greater Houston area and the state of Texas. As a former prosecutor, founding attorney Jose Ceja is keenly aware of the tactics the state utilizes to gain convictions. He leverages his extensive trial experience to mount aggressive defenses against assault charges. When you work with our legal team, you can rest assured we will fight to protect your freedom and your future.
Types of Assault in Texas
In Texas, you can be charged with assault for:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person
- Threatening another with imminent bodily harm
- Causing physical contact with another person in a manner that would reasonably be considered offensive or provocative
Under Texas law, there are a number of classifications of assault:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Physically contacting another person in an offensive or provocative manner or threatening another with harm without causing injury, also referred to as simple assault. A conviction for this offense is punishable by fines up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor — A simple assault committed against a participant (e.g. umpires, referees and athletes) by angry nonparticipants in retaliation for a sports event, punishable by 6 months in prison and fines up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor — A simple assault committed against an elderly or disabled person, punishable by up to one year in prison and fines up to $4,000.
- Third-Degree Felony — Causing harm to a public servant, security officer or emergency services personnel, punishable by 2 to10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony — Commonly referred to aggravated assault, this offense involves (1) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily harm to another, (2) using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime, or (3) threatening another with bodily injury or contacting a person in a way the victim would reasonably consider offensive, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony – Any aggravated assault committed against a public official, security guard, informant, or witness to a crime, punishable by 5 years to life in prison and fines up to $10,000.
As you can see, it is not necessary for the intended victim to be harmed for you to be charged with assault. If you threaten to hit your neighbor in a way that puts him or her in reasonable fear of imminent harm, for example, you can be charged with assault. At the same time, the state must be able to prove that there was intent, knowledge or recklessness. In other words, the fact that you have been charged with assault does not mean that you will be convicted. The best way to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future is to work with an aggressive assault defense lawyer.
How We Can Help
Ceja Law has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against all types of assault charges in Texas. Guided by a principle that anyone accused of assault is entitled to the presumption of innocence, we will provide you with aggressive representation when you need it most. Our legal team knows that a well-conceived criminal defense strategy starts with preparation.
We will conduct a thorough investigation by obtaining and reviewing a copy of the police report, identifying and interviewing witnesses (including the victim and the arresting officers) and seek out evidence of your innocence. Once we understand the circumstances, we will choose the best line of defense.
The strongest defense is to have an alibi — you not were at the scene when the crime took place. Because the state’s case may depend on the testimony of unreliable witnesses, we may also be able to raise the defense of mistaken identity. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to show that you acted in self-defense to protect yourself or another from imminent bodily harm. Finally, another potential defense is to show that you did not have the requisite criminal intent to commit assault or to cause bodily harm.
Contact Our Houston Assult Defense Attorney Today
Although we are committed to having the charges dismissed or winning an acquittal, we will carefully weigh the strength of the evidence against you and determine whether negotiating a plea agreement is the best option for you. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and fight to protect your rights. If you have been charged with assault in Texas, don’t go it alone. Contact Ceja Law Firm today for an evaluation of your case.