Articles Posted in 22.01 Assault

Assault Family Violence is one the worst misdemeanor charges a defendant in Texas can face (the other being DWI). Worst as in the collateral consequences of a conviction, or even a plea for deferred adjudication, can be life-changing. As a result of the serious nature of these charges, many family violence cases end up set for trial. At its core, a family violence case is still an assault, and there many defenses to an assault charge, including self-defense. If you are looking at a jury trial for an assault, one thing your lawyer must prepare for is the jury charge. That is, what the jury will be instructed to do once evidence is considered. If you are trial strategy is based on self-defense, then you want the jury to be able to consider that defense in the jury charge.

What’s the law on self-defense in family violence cases?

It’s the same as self-defense for any other type of assault.

This is part 3 of our on-going series on Texas Penal Code Section 22.01 Assault. Today we are going to talk about way to make a regular Class A assault (bodily injury) a felony. That would be an assault against a public servant. Section (a)(1)(b)(1) defines assault on a public servant as an assault 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;

This requires that the defendant a) know the person is a public servant, and b) the public servant is performing is performing an official duty or (c) or in retaliation from the performance of an official duty. A third degree felony has a range of punishment of 2-10 years in TDC, and a possible $10,000 fine.

There are many different offenses with the word “assault” in them in Texas. Assault by Contact, Assault on a Public Servant, Sexual Assault, Assault Family Violence, Assault by Contact (Class C) etc. Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code covers a broad range of conduct, everything from Class C misdemeanor assaults to Second Degree Felony Assault. Let’s dive into the statute and see what’s going on here.

First up, what is an assault in Texas?

Basically, it’s causing bodily injury, threatening bodily injury, or offensive physical contact. Specifically

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