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Galveston Assault Lawyer

Galveston Assault Lawyer

Galveston Assault Lawyer

Galveston Assault Attorney

Assault is one of the broadest classifications of criminal law in Texas, encompassing a wide variety of actions qualifying as intentional tort that one could take against another. Unfortunately, accusing someone of assault is one of the easiest claims to make against another. As a result, countless individuals are wrongfully accused of committing assault every day.

For this reason, it is imperative that you partner with a qualified and skilled attorney if you are facing assault charges of any kind. There are always two sides to every story. While supposed victims are generally given the benefit of the doubt, Texas and federal law hold that all individuals are presumed innocent until proven, without doubt, that they are guilty of a crime. An experienced Galveston criminal defense lawyer can help you prepare a solid defense to ensure that your side of the story is heard and your rights upheld.

Assault Representation in Galveston, TX

The team at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, offers personalized counsel and support for Galveston residents in need of criminal defense. Our goal is to avoid conviction whenever possible and work diligently to reduce penalties when they are unavoidable. Our team has a history of successful cases that have consistently ended in both acquittals and dismissals.

If you are facing assault charges of any kind, reach out to one of our experienced and skilled attorneys today.

What Is Assault?

Texas law classifies an assault as having occurred when someone intentionally:

  • Causes harm or physical injury, even through recklessness, also known as battery
  • Threatens physical harm against another person
  • Uses confrontational physical contact against another person

The presence of violence is not necessary for an assault charge to be made, as any unwanted or offensive contact could be considered assault. Texas further classifies assault as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense.

What Is a Simple Assault Charge?

Most charges fall under what is known as “Simple Assault.” A simple assault can be classified as one of three levels of misdemeanor charges.

  • Class C misdemeanor. Someone threatens harm against another or makes confrontational physical contact without causing injury.
  • Class B misdemeanor. Someone assaults another during or related to a sporting event. This applies to sporting officials, players, and contact between spectators and sports professionals.
  • Class A misdemeanor. Someone causes harm or injury during an assault or assaults an elderly or disabled person, regardless of whether harm was caused.

Additionally, a simple assault could be classified as a felony if the offense was directed at certain parties, such as cases of domestic violence. What would otherwise be a Class A misdemeanor becomes a third-degree felony if the assault is against a:

  • Family member
  • Dating partner
  • Roommate
  • Public servant
  • Emergency services personnel
  • Security officer
  • Certain government employees or authorized workers

So long as the assault does not cause serious injury or include the use of a weapon, it will be charged as a simple assault. Generally, penalties for simple assaults are lighter and less severe than for aggravated assaults.

What Is an Aggravated Assault Charge?

What would otherwise be a simple assault becomes an aggravated assault when the offense causes serious bodily harm or involves a weapon. The presence of a deadly weapon automatically makes an assault aggravated, even if it was only shown but never used. There are two levels of felony assault charges:

  • Second-degree felony assault. Any action that would be a Class C misdemeanor assault becomes a second-degree felony if a deadly weapon is present. Threatening harm with a deadly weapon shown, for example, constitutes a second-degree felony.
  • First-degree felony assault. A Class A misdemeanor assault becomes a first-degree felony if serious bodily harm is caused or a deadly weapon is present or used. Additionally, if the accused has been convicted of assault in the past, it could increase the charges.

Aggravated assault charges incur much heavier penalties than simple assault charges. It is important that you discuss the details of your case with an experienced attorney. If you are facing assault charges of any kind, your attorney could help provide a defense that may potentially reduce the charges to a lower level.

How Can an Assault Lawyer Help Me?

Partnering with a qualified and skilled assault criminal defense attorney can have a significant impact on the outcome of your defense. An experienced lawyer will be proactive in seeking exculpatory evidence that could weaken the prosecution’s case against you. For example, your defense attorney can examine evidence, including any available video footage, interview witnesses, and negotiate with the prosecution.

Because of the potentially severe penalties associated with assault charges, it is vital that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, have a comprehensive knowledge of Texas criminal law and assault defense, along with a proven record of defending clients against even the most intimidating of charges.

Even if you committed the offense in question, our team can work to get your penalties reduced where possible. Just because you’ve been charged with a criminal offense doesn’t mean a conviction is inevitable. We can work to fight your case and keep it from going to court or provide strong representation if a trial is necessary.

What Are the Potential Penalties for an Assault Conviction in Texas?

The specific penalties incurred from an assault conviction will vary depending on the severity of the offense and the circumstances of the case. Generally, here’s what you could expect to face for a simple assault charge:

  • Class C misdemeanor assault
    • Confrontational physical contact with another person
    • Threatening harm against another person
      • Fines up to $500
  • Class B misdemeanor assault
    • Assault involving sports professionals
      • Jail time up to six months
      • Fines up to $2,000
  • Class A misdemeanor assault
    • Assault causing injury
    • Assault against elderly
    • Assault against a disabled person
      • Jail time up to one year
      • Fines up to $4,000
  • Third-degree felony assault
    • Domestic violence
    • Assault against a public servant, government employee, officer, or emergency personnel
      • Prison sentence between 2-10 years
      • Fines up to $10,000

For an aggravated assault charge, you should expect to incur the most severe penalties. They include:

  • Second-degree felony assault
    • Confronting another person with a deadly weapon
    • Threatening harm with a deadly weapon
      • Prison sentence between 2-20 years
      • Fines up to $10,000
  • First-degree felony assault
    • Committing domestic violence with the presence or use of a deadly weapon
    • Committing assault against a public servant, government employee, officer, or emergency personnel with the presence or use of a deadly weapon
      • Maximum penalty of a life sentence
      • Fines up to $10,000

Assault Charges FAQs

Q: How Can Assault Charges Be Dropped in Texas?

A: When you’ve been charged with assault in Texas, the only person with the authority to drop the charges is the prosecutor. It can be common for domestic partner victims who originally press charges against an offender to want to drop those charges later. However, once an assault charge has been made, it is the decision of the state whether to prosecute. Therefore, the victim must appeal to the prosecutor and fill out a formal affidavit.

Q: What Is the Lowest Charge of Assault in Texas?

A: The lowest charge under Texas law for an assault is a Class C misdemeanor. This is issued when the offense caused no physical injury or other type of harm. If the defendant makes any threat of harm or has physical contact with the victim that is threatening or confrontational in manner, they will be liable for the lowest misdemeanor charge, which includes fines of up to $500. Causing injury would automatically increase the offense to a more serious charge.

Q: How Long Do You Go to Jail for Assault in Texas?

A: Jail time for an assault charge in Texas is dependent on the severity of the offense. You could face:

  • No jail time for assaults that caused no injury.
  • Up to six months for an assault occurring as part of a sporting event.
  • Up to one year for assaults causing injury or against an elderly or disabled person.
  • Up to 10-20 years for assault against family, public servants, or officers or for causing serious injury.
  • Up to life for aggravated assault.

Q: How Do You Beat a Simple Assault Charge in Texas?

A: There are several common defenses to help reduce or dismiss a simple assault charge in Texas. First, you could argue there is not sufficient evidence for a conviction. Accusing someone of assault is easy. It is the burden of the state to prove an offense actually occurred. Second, you could argue that any action you took was done in self-defense. To do so, you would have to testify and demonstrate you had a reasonable fear of bodily harm.

Speak With a Qualified Galveston Assault Lawyer Today

If you are facing assault charges, whether you’ve been wrongly accused or unfairly charged, it is essential that you partner with a strong defense attorney, like those at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC. We can work diligently with you to achieve the most favorable outcome in your case by examining evidence, interviewing witnesses, and negotiating with prosecutors. Don’t let an unjust assault charge unnecessarily impact your life. Secure the right defense by contacting our office.

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