Texas Law & Assaultive Offenses
In the State of Texas, distinctions have been created defining such criminal behavior as assault, aggravated assault and so on. Some of the laws defining assault cases are described here:
- An assault is to deliberately and recklessly injure another person’s body.
- You can knowingly and intentionally threaten someone with this injury or in a third situation,
- Simply intentionally to threateningly make physical contact with another in such a way that the other party has reasonable cause to believe the contact is not only offensive but provocative.
But going beyond that, there is, in the State of Texas, a more important law that goes beyond the assault descriptions described above. When a person commits an assault against another and,
- Displays a deadly weapon, and/or actually uses it.
- Or, if the person otherwise causes serious bodily injury to the other party.
Understanding The Bodily Injury Standard
First, we’d like to point out that the term “bodily injury” does not necessarily mean a visible injury such as a bruise or a cut. The term also includes physical pain, and although you may think no harm was done, you can still be charged with “Assault with Bodily Injury”. In Texas, this is a Class A Misdemeanor and you could go to jail.
If the charge escalates to “serious bodily injury”, the sentence would be must more severe.
When the charge is aggravated assault, deadly weapons may be involved or choking, or any sort of assault that could easily result in permanent injuries or death. Therefore the assault charge may be raised to a first-degree felony. Although a judge’s decisions will never be known until the very end of the hearing or trial, the range of punishment for a first-degree felony could range from probation to a sentence of life in prison.
In Texas, even a threat or what is described as offensive physical contact can qualify as a Class C Misdemeanor Assault. This would be more like receiving a traffic ticket.
If on the other hand, the other party lashes out at you, even causing bodily injury, his attorney may well convince the court that he acted in self-defense and therefore did not commit any crime at all.
Houston Criminal Charges Are Serious!
Any criminal charge can be serious. In the courtroom, no one ever knows exactly what the judge may be thinking. The famous Judge Wapner on his TV program once said that for him, the task is relatively simple: he never follows the pleas of either party, and he never follows his own personal feelings, but rather, follows the letter of the law. Case closed.
Unfortunately, in real life, not all judges are so even-handed. Some actually fall asleep on the bench and some appear to take an obvious dislike to one of the persons before them.
When charged with any crime, you’ll need an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Without representation, you will be like a lamb shaking before a prosecuting wolf whose job is to get convictions, not worry about ensuring that the accused get a fair trial. That’s the defense attorney’s job. If he or she isn’t in court, look out lamb!
Of course no one wants to become involved in any activity that will cause him or her to land in a courtroom, but the takeaway here is: If you ever find yourself charged with a crime, especially a serious crime such as aggravated assault, you want to talk to an attorney now, not later on. Your attorney will be your only friend in the courtroom, he or she will understand what is going on, and better still may work something out for you so you don’t have appear before a judge at all!