Everyone gets into an argument with someone else from time to time. Unfortunately, sometimes these disagreements can escalate to the point where the police are called to intervene. Tempers are hot. Statements are made to the police. And then you find yourself being arrested for assault.
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A few days later, things have cooled off. The party that made the complaint has changed their minds. They no longer want to file assault charges against you. What now?
Being found guilty of assault in Houston can change your life in many ways — almost always for the worse. First, there’s the jail time and fines. Then there’s the fallout from having a criminal arrest and conviction on your record, which could make things difficult when it comes to getting a job, going to school, applying for a loan or a child custody dispute.
However, just because you’ve been arrested and charged with assault in Houston doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be found guilty and sentenced to jail. In some instances, it may be possible to persuade a prosecutor to drop the assault charges against you.
Steps to Get an Assault Case Dismissed in Harris County
- Hire an Experienced Houston Assault Attorney
The first (and most important) step to getting an assault case dropped in Houston is to hire the services of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling assault cases.
Avoid talking to the police (they can’t drop the charges anyway) or the prosecutor’s office (you could end up making the situation worse). A criminal defense attorney’s job is to protect the rights of their clients and negotiate on their behalf to get the charges against them dropped, dismissed or reduced.
- Examine The Details In Your Houston Assault Case
Your attorney will begin by examining the details in your case and the evidence against you. Was the evidence against you illegally obtained under the Texas Rules of Evidence? Were there extenuating circumstances that led to the assault charge? Was it an act of self-defense? Is the witness recanting their story? Have you ever been in trouble with the law before?
- Convincing the Prosecutor to Drop the Charges
In instances of domestic and other types of assault, only a prosecutor can drop the assault charges against you. But why would they do so? A few of the circumstances in which a prosecutor might consider dropping your assault charges include:
– The witnesses against you are unwilling to testify or cooperate with the prosecutor.
– They don’t have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime.
– New evidence shows you didn’t commit the crime.
– They lack or don’t want to expend the resources to prosecute your case.
– You’re a first time offender.
– You agree to cooperate with the prosecutor to help solve other crimes.
Answers To Your Assault Dismissal FAQs
Assault charges in bar fights are common, but with proper representation you may be able to ask the right questions to get your charge lessened or dismissed.
– Did an assault- in the legal sense of the word- actually take place?
– Is there evidence that you were responsible for the assault?
– Did the witnesses for the prosecution actually see the assault take place? What mental condition were the witnesses in at the time of the dispute?
– What is the relationship of the witness to the victim of the assault?
These are just a few of the questions that an experienced Houston assault attorney will be able to investigate as you move forward with your case. Read more about assault charges resulting from bar fights.
Prosecutors won’t generally pursue a conviction unless they think they have a strong case, so finding witnesses to support your innocence can help you in many ways. A witness for the defense may provide a more impartial version of the events in question, or verify that you were acting in self defense. A witness may testify that you were somewhere else while the crime was taking place. And, though a case is rarely dropped at the request of victims, in some cases, a victim may be persuaded to testify on your behalf. Read more about how witnesses may help prove your innocence if you were falsely accused of assault.
In Texas, assault is defined as intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly causing bodily harm to another, or threatening another with bodily harm. The Texas law also gives every person the right to defend themselves- but only in certain circumstances- and proving the difference between an assault and self-defense to a judge or jury can be difficult.
In some cases, a person might have been acting in self defense, but according to Texas law it may not have been warranted. Examples of these are if you provoked someone to assault you, the other person abandons the encounter and you use force against them, or even if you were resisting arrest. To determine where the strengths of your case lie, you need to contact Lisa Shapiro Strauss today and let them help you navigate these difficult questions. Read more about the difference between self defense and assault in Texas.
Talk to Houston Assault Attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss
A former county prosecutor turned Houston criminal defense attorney, Lisa Shapiro Strauss has put her unique experience to work helping people in Houston and surrounding communities get their assault charges reduced, dropped or dismissed.
Just because you’ve been charged with assault doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be found guilty. Call Houston assault lawyer Lisa Shapiro Strauss today to schedule a free consultation meeting. Lisa Strauss is here to listen to your side of the story, answer any questions you may have, and provide frank advice on the best way to proceed in your case.