Defending Against Assault Charges in the Fort Worth Area
“Assault” is a criminal charge in Texas that can arise from a wide number of situations. In many cases, defendants fail to take the charge of simple assault seriously, and they end up with unnecessarily harsh penalties that can be long-lasting. In reality, “simple” assault cases are anything but simple, and you should always have the representation of a skilled Forth Worth criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker right away if you have been arrested or charged with assault.
What Constitutes Simple Assault?
Under Texas law, simple assault involves any of the following:
- Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causing physical injury to another person
- Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally coming into physical contact with another person that you know they will find to be offensive or provocative
- Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally threatening someone and causing them to fear imminent physical injury
When a simple assault case involves a bodily injury, it is generally a minor injury, as more serious harm will often lead to aggravated assault charges. “Provocative or offensive” physical contact can involve a wide range of actions, including poking someone in the chest to anger them or standing close enough to lean against someone in a sexually suggestive way. Threats can lead to assault as long as the person’s fear is reasonable, and they are more than merely verbal threats. The alleged victim must reasonably fear immediate physical harm and believe you have the ability to cause such harm.
Simple Assault Charges and Penalties
There are many different degrees of assault charges, depending on the specific allegations of a case. Some charges are as follows:
- The assault only involves offensive contact or threats with no bodily injuries = Class C misdemeanor
- The assault involves offensive contact or threats with no bodily injuries, but the victim is an athlete or sports official at an active sporting event = Class B misdemeanor
- The assault involves offensive contact or threats with no bodily injuries, but the victim is a disabled or elderly person = Class A misdemeanor
- The assault involved bodily injuries = Class A misdemeanor
- The assault involved bodily injuries, and the victim was a public servant, police officer, firefighter, EMT, security officer, or prison guard who was performing their duties at the time of the assault = Third-degree felony
The penalties in your case will depend on the degree of charge you face, but can include:
- $500 to $10,000 in fines
- 180 to ten years behind bars
Additionally, a conviction will go on your permanent record, and assault convictions can prevent you from working at certain jobs or could affect child custody, along with other long-term consequences.
Discuss Your Charges with an Experienced Fort Worth Assault Defense Attorney
It is important to have an aggressive and effective defense strategy if you are facing assault charges. The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker works with clients accused of simple assault, so please do not wait to call 817-332-7703 or contact us online today.