If you’ve been charged with assault in Houston or Harris County, even if you think you’ve been wrongly accused, you could be facing jail time and fines, including restitution, if found guilty. To obtain justice in these circumstances, you need an experienced Houston assault defense attorney on your side. Your attorney will be able to review the facts leading up to your arrest and the evidence against you and devise an effective strategy to counter the charges.
Types of Assault Charges in Houston
In Texas, you could be arrested on “simple” assault charges for:
- Threatening another with imminent bodily injury;
- Intentionally or knowingly engaging in physical contact with another, knowing that this contact will be considered offensive or provocative; or
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another.
The charges can get bumped up to “aggravated” assault if the assault caused serious bodily injury to another, and/or you used or brandished a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Chapter 5, Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code describes the different types of assault considered to be a crime in Texas. In addition to “simple” and “aggravated” you could be charged with:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual
- Abandoning or Endangering a Child
- Deadly Conduct
- Terroristic Threats
- Tampering With Consumer Product
- Leaving a Child in a Vehicle
Depending on whether you were charged with misdemeanor or felony assault in Texas, you could be facing:
- Class C misdemeanor: a fine of up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor: up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
- 3rd degree felony: 2 to 10 years in jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- 2nd degree felony: 2 to 20 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- 1st degree felony: 10-years-lifetime imprisonment, and/or a fine up to $50,000
Defenses for Assault Charges in Houston
An astute Houston assault attorney will be able to examine all the details that led to your arrest and the evidence that will be used against you. Depending on the circumstances, there may be several defense strategies your attorney can employ to get the charges against you reduced or dropped:
- The state violated your civil rights.
- You were acting in self-defense.
- The victim and/or witnesses are not being truthful.
- It was a case of mistaken identity — you were not the person who committed the assault.
- Prosecutors failed to prove a necessary element of the charge.
- The victim knew the conduct was a risk of their occupation; a recognized medical treatment; or a scientific experiment conducted by recognized methods.
- The “victim” was not aware they were being assaulted (for example, if you accidentally pointed a gun at someone and that person was not aware you were pointing a gun at them).
Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Will Protect Your Rights
Being found guilty of an assault charge in Houston or Harris County can have serious consequences. In addition to jail time and fines, the conviction will remain on your public record for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find a job, get a loan, or enroll in school.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a highly respected Houston criminal defense attorney who has successfully helped defendants charged with assault in Houston and surrounding areas. A former county prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, Lisa understands the ins and outs of the legal system and how they apply in her clients’ situation. Contact Lisa Shapiro Strauss today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and options under the law.