Articles Posted in 22.01 Assault

Assault charges in Kaufman County can have life-altering consequences, including damage to your reputation, a criminal record, and potential imprisonment. If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, it is crucial to understand the severity of the situation and seek the expertise of a reputable Kaufman County criminal defense attorney at the law firm of Guest & Gray.

At Guest & Gray, we understand that having pending charges hang over your head can feel overwhelming, which is why we want you to have as much information about the charges you face as possible. Read on to learn about the different types of assault charges, the potential consequences, and the importance of having strong legal representation.

Types of Assault Charges

Assault charges encompass a wide range of offenses, from simple assault to aggravated assault to sexual assault. Simple assault typically involves causing physical harm or the reasonable fear of bodily harm to another person. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, involves more serious factors such as the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury. The penalties for assault charges vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the severity of the injuries, and any prior criminal record.

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In a recent case before the First District Court in Texas, the defendant asked that his guilty verdict be reversed because of an error in the notes that the trial court gave the jury. Originally, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly injured a fellow inmate in prison, and his case went to trial. After receiving a guilty verdict and a subsequent sentence, the defendant appealed to the higher court.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was incarcerated for another crime, and he was in the routine of playing cards with his bunkmate most evenings while they were both in prison. During one game in particular, the defendant and his bunkmate argued about who won their game of poker, and a fight ensued. While the defendant and the bunkmate had different stories as to what exactly happened next, the bunkmate ended up severe injuries, including a broken nose and the loss of sight in one eye.

According to a prison employee, the bunkmate’s injuries were the worst he had ever seen while working for the prison. The State charged the defendant with aggravated assault, and he pleaded not guilty. The case then proceeded to trial.

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What happens if you are facing a criminal charge for assault family violence, while you are getting divorced? Our law firm handles both criminal defense, and family law matters. We have seen cases in which one party, let’s say the Husband, is charged with family violence against his Wife, and a divorce is pending.

The first issue that’s going to come up is usually a protective order. If Husband was arrested for assault family violence, then often the judge (magistrate) who sets his bond will issue an emergency order of protection. This order will often forbid the defendant (in our case, Husband) from many things including returning to the residence, threatening the Victim (complaining witness), or possessing a firearm. If you are getting divorced this will essentially ban a defendant from accessing the marital residence.

If you have been arrested and are facing a divorce with a protective order you will want to see understand what options you have to challenge the protective order and to challenge a finding of family violence being entered.

What is assault causing bodily injury in Texas? 

A person commits assault if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 22.01(a)(1).

“Bodily injury” is broadly defined as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Id. § 1.07(a)(8).

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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