Amarillo Assault Defense Lawyer
Texas Assault Laws
In Texas, assault is a serious offense, with a guilty verdict resulting in jail time and/or fines. If you were accused of committing assault, hiring an experienced lawyer is crucial to challenge the allegations made against you. In these types of cases, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly and engaged in conduct that harmed or put another person at risk of being harmed. With an aggressive advocate on your side, you level the playing field and increase the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
At Quackenbush Law Firm, I have over 30 years of legal experience and has defended numerous individuals accused of committing criminal offenses. I understand the seriousness of assault charges and the life-altering consequences of a conviction. That is why, when you hire me, I will attend to every detail of your case to build a solid defense strategy on your behalf. With my extensive understanding of the law and my sharp legal skills, I know what it takes to obtain charge reductions, case dismissals, and not guilty verdicts. I have achieved just results for past clients, and I will work toward doing the same for you.
For a free consultation with a seasoned lawyer in Amarillo, call me at (806) 424-4108.
What Constitutes Assault?
The Texas Penal Code defines assault as causing or threatening to cause injury to someone or touching a person in an offensive way. Because of this broad definition, numerous actions could be considered criminal conduct, such as being involved in a fight or spitting on someone.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a harmful act is considered illegal if it’s done either:
- Intentionally: Actively engaging in the specific act with the desire to do so or cause the result;
- Knowingly: Being aware of the conduct or the specific end that will result from the conduct; or
- Recklessly: Being aware that the actions could result in substantial and unjustifiable risk but engage in the conduct regardless
There are 3 subsections to the assault statute that define unlawful behavior, which include:
- Causing bodily injury to another: If a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly makes someone suffer physical pain, illness, or physical impairment, they could be charged with assault.
- Threatening imminent bodily injury: Intentionally or knowingly threatening to harm someone is an offense. The other person must have had a reasonable fear that the threat could have been carried out.
- Making physical contact in an offensive or provocative way: Intentionally or knowingly touching someone in a way that the actor knows or should reasonably believe that the other will find it offensive is unlawful.
Is Assault a Misdemeanor or Felony Offense?
The level of charge a person faces depends on the circumstances. Generally, an assault that causes bodily injury is charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
However, it becomes a third-degree felony when it is committed against a:
- Public servant carrying out official duties
- Significant other or family or household member
- Government contractor
- Security officer
- Emergency services personnel
- Pregnant individual
- Civil Commitment Office worker while the actor is in a facility
Assault is a second-degree felony when it is committed:
- Against a peace officer or judge
- Against a significant other or family or household member and the actor had previously been convicted of the offense
- By intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly choking someone or covering their nose or mouth
If the assault was a threat to cause bodily harm or involved touching someone in an offensive way, it is a Class C misdemeanor. However, it increases to a Class B misdemeanor when it is committed against a sports participant. It becomes a Class A misdemeanor when the alleged victim is an elderly or disabled person, or it was committed to force a pregnant individual to have an abortion.
Texas Penal Code 22.02 - Aggravated Assault Laws
Under Texas Penal Code 22.02, aggravated assault occurs when a person commits simple assault and other circumstances apply.
The situations that increase the severity of an assault offense, include:
- Causing serious bodily injury
- Using a deadly weapon
Aggravated assault is charged as a second-degree felony, but increases to a first-degree felony when it is committed:
- With a deadly weapon and causes serious bodily harm to a significant other or family or household member
- Against a public servant
- By firing a weapon from a motor vehicle and causing serious bodily injury to someone else
At Quackenbush Law Firm, this attorney is ready to stand by your side throughout your case. I will provide sound advice and guidance to help you understand the criminal justice process, your rights, and your legal options.
If you’ve been charged with assault in Amarillo, discuss your case with me today by calling (806) 424-4108 or filling out an online contact form.