Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

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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A Texas criminal trial involves more than the simple question of whether a defendant committed a crime. In many cases, the most important aspect of the trial is sentencing. Defendants can n be sentenced to extremely variable sentences based on a variety of factors applied in the Texas justice system. In considering a sentence, courts may consider a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility and remorse, or lack thereof. Additionally, courts will consider a defendant’s risk of recidivism and any danger the defendant may cause to society.

The sentences for some crimes can be enhanced based on a defendant’s criminal record, often leading to years, or even decades longer sentences for different defendants convicted of the same crime. A Texas appellate court recently affirmed the application of a sentencing enhancement for a man convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

According to the facts discussed in the recently-published appellate opinion, the defendant from the recently decided case was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery after he was caught by a neighbor breaking into the victim’s car. The neighbor confronted the defendant, and a fight ensued, with the defendant ultimately shooting the neighbor in the leg. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and took the case before a jury. The jury found that the defendant was guilty of the crime, however, the court also asked the jury to decide whether to apply an “enhancement paragraph” to his charges, which would increase the sentence.

Last month, the Fourth Court of Appeals issued an opinion related to a defendant’s conviction for assault on a peace officer. Originally, the defendant was charged and found guilty after an incident in which officers showed up to his home to arrest him. The defendant ran away, the officers chased him, and an altercation ensued. On appeal, the defendant argued that the indictment against him actually authorized a conviction for a lesser crime when in reality he was convicted for a more serious crime than his indictment allowed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case and his wife got into a domestic dispute one evening. His wife called the police, and two officers came to the house to investigate. Upon entering, they noticed that the defendant was rocking back and forth while seated in the corner of the living room, apparently intoxicated.

There were two outstanding warrants for the defendant’s arrest, so the officers advised him that they were going to arrest him. Immediately, the defendant began yelling, then he started to kick and push the officers out of the way. He got up and ran to the back of the house, throwing a ladder at the officers when they began to catch up. As the altercation continued to escalate, the defendant kicked the officers in the stomach, hoping to ward them off.

Eventually, the officers were able to handcuff the defendant, and he was immediately arrested for the assault.

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In a recent case before a district court in Texas, the defendant appealed his assault conviction by arguing that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his guilty verdict. According to the defendant, his trial unjustly resulted in a conviction when the prosecution had not proven every element of the assault crime he was facing. Looking at the totality of the evidence, the court of appeals ultimately disagreed with the defendant and kept the original verdict in place.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was criminally charged after his significant other accused him of assaulting her and choking her in 2020. On the night in question, the defendant pushed himself on his girlfriend, and she told him to stop. He responded by trying to choke her, squeezing her neck, and holding down her arms and hands with his knees.

The defendant’s girlfriend did not call 911, but she took pictures of several injuries she incurred after the incident. The photos showed marks and redness on her neck, but there were shadows in the pictures that led the defense attorney to question whether or not the pictures accurately showed any injury. The photos, however, were entered at trial, and the defendant was found guilty of the assault. He was sentenced to time in prison as a result, and he promptly appealed.

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The severity of charges that are brought for the crime of assault depends on many factors. If a weapon is used in an assault, the type of weapon used can aggravate simple assault charges, possibly resulting in a serious felony conviction and significant jail time for an offender. The Texas Court of Appeals recently released a decision in which they affirmed the defendant’s conviction and subsequent sentence for aggravated assault for an attack involving a pair of children’s scissors.

According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the defendant was a long-term romantic partner of the victim and allegedly attacked her with scissors during an argument, cutting her on the arm and causing her to seek medical attention. Based on the injuries sustained in the fight, as well as threats and other abuse mentioned by the victim, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault. The charge was aggravated based on the relationship between the defendant and the victim, as well as the use of a deadly weapon, namely, the scissors.

The victim did not testify at trial, and the defense argued that the children’s scissors could not be considered a deadly weapon to aggravate the charges against him. The prosecution called witnesses who testified that the scissors could cause serious bodily injury if used with significant strength. It was up to the jury to decide if the scissors were to be considered a deadly weapon. Additionally, the prosecution admitted statements by the victim that the defendant repeatedly threatened to seriously hurt her if she ever reported the abuse to authorities. The jury found the defendant guilty of the aggravated assault charge, and he was sentenced to 40 years in Texas State Prison.

In a recent opinion from a Texas court, the defendant’s motion to suppress was denied. Originally, the defendant was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and aggravated assault. He appealed, arguing that the prosecutor’s use of evidence from the black box in his car was unwarranted. The court disagreed, sustaining the original verdict.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was driving one of his friends when he sped around a curve and lost control of his car. Immediately, the defendant crashed into a tree, and his friend died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Investigating the case, police officers obtained a search warrant to recover the defendant’s black box event data recorder. According to police officers, this black box would tell them important information on the car’s speed both at and before the crash itself.

While preparing for trial, the defendant argued that the officers should not have been allowed to seize the car’s black box – it was a violation of his right to privacy. The trial court denied this motion and proceeded with trial. Eventually, a jury heard all of the evidence and concluded that the defendant was guilty of homicide and aggravated assault because of his reckless driving.

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In a recent opinion from a Texas court, a defendant’s request to suppress incriminating evidence was denied. The defendant had been previously found guilty of murder, and part of the evidence used against him in court was gunshot residue (sometimes called GSR) found in his vehicle. The defendant tried to argue that the GSR was improperly used as evidence because the detective who found the GSR did not obtain a warrant, specifically stating that he was going to be searching for GSR in the vehicle. The court denied this argument, affirming the lower court’s judgment and denying the defendant’s appeal.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a shooting occurred one morning in January 2018 outside of the victim’s apartment complex. The victim’s wife heard gunshots and found her husband dead outside of their apartment, but the shooter ran away before she was able to see him.

The defendant quickly became the main suspect in the police department’s investigation of the crime. Other apartment complex residents described the shooter and the shooter’s vehicle to detectives, which led investigators to the defendant himself. There was also testimonial evidence presented that the defendant and the victim had been arguing at work the day before the shooting, which gave detectives reason to believe the defendant had a motive to commit the crime. Other witnesses told police officers that before he lost consciousness, the victim had been uttering a name to people around him that sounded like the defendant’s first name.

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In a recent opinion from a Texas court involving charges of domestic violence, the defendant’s request for a new verdict was denied. The defendant was found guilty of the second-degree felony offense of family violence assault by impeding the normal breathing of his girlfriend, as well as the third-degree felony offense of family violence. At trial, the prosecution argued that the defendant kept his girlfriend from being able to appear and testify in court. On appeal, the defendant said that this information was false and that he did not keep his girlfriend from coming to trial. The court disagreed and affirmed the guilty verdict.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, police officers went to the defendant’s home after a neighbor called 911 to report domestic violence. Upon arrival, the officers knocked on the defendant’s door; the defendant, who was sweeping up glass from the living room floor, said that he and his girlfriend were “just getting into it.” The defendant’s girlfriend, on the other hand, reported to the officers that she and her boyfriend had argued and he had assaulted her. According to the defendant’s girlfriend, the defendant had punched her in the stomach and struck her with a broom ten times on the shoulders. When she ran outside, the defendant hit her in the head and pulled her into the house by her hair. At the end of the incident, she had red marks on her throat, bruising on her left arm, and a broken blood vessel in her eye.

Leading up to trial, investigators repeatedly tried to serve the defendant’s girlfriend with papers saying she had to appear in court. When they tried to deliver the papers, the defendant claimed that he and his girlfriend were no longer a couple and that he could not do anything to help the investigators locate her. Later, the investigators learned that the defendant and his girlfriend were still, in fact, together, despite what the defendant had claimed when the investigators asked for his help.

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Self-defense is one of the oldest and most sacred defenses in all of criminal law. While self-defense applies in a variety of situations, it is also one of the most misunderstood defenses. One particular area of self-defense that is especially important to understand is the “Castle Doctrine.”

The Castle Doctrine is a very old legal concept that is based on the idea that a person’s home is their castle, and they should be able to defend against intruders without fear of violating the law themselves. It is also referred to as the Stand Your Ground law. Texas has a very broad Castle Doctrine that provides ample protection to those defending their homes.

Essentially, the Castle Doctrine makes legal conduct that would otherwise be considered illegal, provided the elements of the doctrine are met. Specifically, the Castle Doctrine allows you to use force you reasonably believe to be necessary to stop another person from trespassing on your property or, in some cases, taking your property. The most protection is afforded to those who are in their home at the time; however, the Castle Doctrine also applies to vehicles.

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