Montgomery County, TX Assault Charges Lawyer
Our Conroe criminal defense attorneys can defend your rights
You have been charged with assault in Texas. What should you do now? Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how the legal system works in Texas and how to get results. Contact The Webb Firm, P.C. in Conroe. We know how the system works because we’ve been doing this work for years in Conroe, The Woodlands, and other nearby communities in Texas.
Attorney Amanda Webb has represented many people in court facing charges involving assault and battery. She also brings a unique perspective to such cases as a former prosecutor in Montgomery County, where she worked as an assistant district attorney.
Understanding assault charges in Texas
What’s the definition of assault in Texas?
Texas law defines assault as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury, threatening bodily injury, or causing offensive or provocative physical contact. It’s important to note that physical contact is not required; just the threat of contact can be enough to sustain an assault charge. Assault is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a felony if certain legal criteria apply.
What is an enhanced assault charge?
In general, simple assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor if it causes bodily injury, and a Class A misdemeanor otherwise. However, either of these charges can be enhanced (increased to a higher class of charge) if certain legal criteria apply. For instance, a bodily injury assault can be charged as a third-degree felony if the victim is a public servant lawfully exercising an official duty. Domestic violence (that is, assault committed against a family member or dating partner) can also be an enhancing circumstance.
What is aggravated assault?
In Texas, an aggravated assault is an assault (as defined above) that uses a deadly weapon and/or causes serious bodily injury. Aggravated assault is considered a violent felony charge.
What is assault and battery?
Assault is an immediate threat of physical harm (for instance, raising a fist), whereas battery is the actual infliction of harm (for instance, punching someone). In many states, assault and battery are separate criminal charges. However, in Texas, there is no charge called “battery;” rather, what would be charged as battery in another state is simply a type of assault. The closest legal equivalent for “assault and battery” in Texas is known as “bodily injury assault.”
Legal defenses against assault charges
In essence, there are two possible ways to beat an assault charge in Texas. As with any crime, you could argue that you did not, in fact, commit the act of which you were accused. You may also be eligible for an affirmative defense, such as self-defense.
Is it assault if I was defending myself?
Texas law allows three ways to beat an assault charge by arguing you were acting defensively.
- Self-defense: the assault you made was a justified response to protect yourself against a real perceived threat of violence against you. Texas law specifies that you can respond to a threat of violence with a minimum amount of force; for instance, if someone slaps you, the law says you can push them away to prevent further violence, but not try to break their nose.
- Defense of others: in addition to protecting yourself, you have the right to intervene to protect others against violence or threats of violence, or under some circumstances, to stop a crime in progress. Again, you need to respond with the minimum amount of force possible to ensure the other person’s protection.
- Defense of property: finally, Texas law says you can use force to defend property like your home or your car. This is the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law.
What is the consent defense in assault cases?
In theory, it’s possible to hold that the alleged victim of an assault consented to the physical contact or risk of harm. However, this only applies in very limited circumstances, usually contact sports, such as football or boxing. Note that the law says a person generally cannot consent to serious bodily injury.
As with any criminal case, defending an assault case starts with the circumstances of the arrest and the evidence used to support the charge. We review arrest records and look for mistakes made by the police or the prosecution that can be turned to your advantage. Did the arresting officer follow the law? Were you notified of your rights? Or were your civil rights violated?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate a reduced charge (for instance, reducing aggravated assault to simple assault) or even get the charges dropped entirely.
How our law firm can help you
Navigating your way through the court system on your own can be nearly impossible. Judges often err on the side of caution, which could result in you being incarcerated or barred from contact with a family member depending on the charges facing you. Even a single charge could carry significant penalties, to say nothing of the consequences for your relationships and your career.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can give you a voice in court. Instead of feeling like you have no control over what’s happening, your lawyer can speak on your behalf and make sure your rights are respected. That’s why it’s important to speak with a lawyer right away after your arrest.
At The Webb Firm, P.C., we take a comprehensive approach towards complex cases. This approach starts with simply listening to you explain to us exactly what happened in your own words. We can then explain to you the best available options. That way, you can decide what you want us to do next on your behalf. Contact us and schedule your free consultation right now.