The term assault can be broadly applied to a multitude of situations, which makes it incredibly easy for a person to be facing assault charges. While assault is most frequently described as simple assault, it can also include sexual assault, indecent assault, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, and domestic assault.

People accused of assault crimes are often portrayed as being incredibly violent even when the circumstances do not necessarily support that conclusion. Alleged offenders in these cases need to be sure that they are presenting the most favorable views of themselves in court.\

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Assault Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

If you were arrested for an alleged assault offense in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, or another community in Tarrant County, you are going to want to be sure that you quickly seek legal representation. Make sure to get in contact with The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathyas soon as possible.

Our firm has defended hundreds of people accused of various violent crimes. You can have us sit down with you and go over everything relating to your case when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.

Assault Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a) states that a person commits an assault offense if they:

  • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
  • intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;  or
  • intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
 
 

Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) defines assault as a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a third-degree felony if the offense is committed against:

  • a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant;
  • a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b) relating to dating violence, Texas Family Code § 71.003 relating to family, or Texas Family Code § 71.005 relating to households if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the alleged offender has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Texas Penal Code § 20.03, 20.04, 21.11, or 25.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005; or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth;
  • a person who contracts with the government to perform a service in a facility as defined by Texas Penal Code § 1.07(a)(14), or Texas Family Code § 51.02(13) or (14), or an employee of that person while the person or employee is engaged in performing a service within the scope of the contract if the actor knows the person or employee is authorized by government to provide the service; or in retaliation for or on account of the person’s or employee’s performance of a service within the scope of the contract;
  • a person the actor knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer;
  • a person the actor knows is emergency services personnel while the person is providing emergency services;
  • a pregnant individual to force the individual to have an abortion; or
  • a person the actor knows is pregnant at the time of the offense.
 
 

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) can also a third-degree felony if the offense is committed:

  • while the actor is committed to a civil commitment facility; and
  • against an officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Office while the officer or employee is lawfully discharging an official duty at a civil commitment facility; or in retaliation for or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of official duty by the officer or employee; or a person who contracts with the state to perform a service in a civil commitment facility or an employee of that person while the person or employee is engaged in performing a service within the scope of the contract if the actor knows the person or employee is authorized by the state to provide the service; or in retaliation for or on account of the person’s or employee’s performance of a service within the scope of the contract.
 
 

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) becomes a second-degree felony if the offense is committed against a person the actor knows is a peace officer or judge while the officer or judge is lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a peace officer or judge.

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) is also a second-degree felony if:

  • the offense is committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005;
  • it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Texas Penal Code § 20.03, 20.04, or 21.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005; and
  • the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.
 

Offenses under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(2) or (3) are Class C misdemeanors, except that an offense is:

  • a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Texas Penal Code § 20.03(a)(3) against an elderly individual or disabled individual;
  • a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed by a person who is not a sports participant against a person the actor knows is a sports participant either while the participant is performing duties or responsibilities in the participant’s capacity as a sports participant; or in retaliation for or on account of the participant’s performance of a duty or responsibility within the participant’s capacity as a sports participant; or
  • a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed against a pregnant individual to force the individual to have an abortion.
 
 

It is also possible for a person to face assault with deadly weapon charges. An alleged offender is presumed to have known the person assaulted was a public servant, a security officer, or emergency services personnel if the person was wearing a distinctive uniform or badge indicating the person’s employment as a public servant or status as a security officer or emergency services personnel. Emergency services personnel is defined as including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code § 773.003, emergency room personnel, and other individuals who, in the course and scope of employment or as a volunteer, provide services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.

A security officer is defined as a commissioned security officer as defined by Texas Occupations Code § 1702.002, or a noncommissioned security officer registered under Texas Occupations Code § 1702.221. A sports participant is a person who participates in any official capacity with respect to an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or other organized amateur or professional athletic competition and includes an athlete, referee, umpire, linesman, coach, instructor, administrator, or staff member.

Assault Penalties in Fort Worth, TX

An assault conviction could carry some serious consequences. Fines and imprisonment under state law could include:

  • Class C Misdemeanor — 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
  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
 

Assault convictions also create criminal records that lead to many people having trouble obtaining employment or housing. Some individuals could benefit from possibly sealing or expunging their criminal records.

Tarrant County Assault Resources

Irving v. State, 176 SW 3d 842 – Tex: Court of Criminal Appeals 2005 — Charles Ray Irving was convicted of the offense of aggravated assault. On appeal, Irving argued that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of simple assault. The Ninth Court of Appeals held that Irving was entitled to an instruction on the lesser-included offense and reversed and remanded the case to the trial court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, however, re-affirmed its decision in Hayward v. State, 158 S.W.3d 476, 478 (Tex.Crim.App.2005) that a trial court is not required to instruct a jury on a lesser included offense where the conduct establishing the lesser offense is not “included” within the conduct charged; i.e. within the facts required to prove the charged offense.

Hall v. State, 158 SW 3d 470 – Tex: Court of Criminal Appeals 2005 — Ronnie Hall was charged with the felony of assault on a public servant and admitted at trial hitting Correctional Officer Mark Enloe, but contended that he offered some evidence that Enloe was not “lawfully discharging” his official duties as a correctional officer when he pushed Hall. Hall argued the trial court erred in refusing his request for a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor assault, but the court of appeals affirmed and stated that because Enloe was on duty and acting within his official capacity, the appellant failed to offer evidence “that would allow a rational jury to convict Hall of only the lesser-included offense of assault.” The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Hall that if there is record evidence that demonstrates a public officer is unlawfully discharging his official duties at the time a person assaults him, the defendant is entitled to a lesser-included charge, but because Hall did not offer evidence that Officer Enloe acted “unlawfully,” the court was forced to affirm the judgment of the court of appeals.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Assault Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you arrested for an alleged assault anywhere in Tarrant County? You will want to be sure that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is incredibly familiar with assault cases and knows how to help defend people. We will be happy to review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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