If you have been accused of assault causing bodily injury in Houston, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will actively listen to your side of the story and be willing and able to zealously defend you at a jury trial. Consulting with and retaining a reputable trial lawyer to defend you should be your first line of defense. A trial lawyer can analyze the strength of your case and has the experience to get you the best possible result. This is especially important because the penalty range under state law for an assault conviction is serious and can lead to a criminal record, a steep fine and a lengthy county jail sentence for a misdemeanor or prison term for a felony.
An individual can be falsely accused of assault for many different reasons. For example, if another person provoked or taunted you and you responded in self-defense because you reasonably believed that the other person was about to hit you, they may claim you assaulted them, when they were really the first aggressor. Or, if you get into a heated argument with another person that leads to a mutual fight, they may claim you assaulted them, when it was actually a mutual fight that they lost.
An individual can also be accused of assault for threatening to cause someone bodily injury or even for merely touching another person in an offensive manner.
In order to prevent future violence, law enforcement officers often make hasty arrest decisions in cases involving allegations of assault. This is especially true when family violence is alleged. However, as there are always two sides to every story, it is important to hire an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer who can fight for you at trial and persuasively present your side of the story to the jury.
If you have been charged with the criminal offense of assault in Harris county (Houston) or Fort Bend (Richmond), call James G. Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428 to defend you. Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan has fought criminal cases at trial since 1994. Sullivan will fight for your rights, freedom and future.
Assault in Houston
According to Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, assault charges in Houston can come about in a number of different ways. For example, an individual can be charged with a Houston assault if
- the accused caused bodily injury (“pain”) to another person
- by acting in an intentional, knowing or reckless manner.
An individual can also be charged in Houston with assault if the accused
- threatens to cause bodily injury (“pain”) to another person
- in an intentional and knowing manner.
Lastly, assault charges in Houston can come about when an accused
- intentionally or knowingly
- makes physical contact with another person
- which the accused knew or should have known the other person would perceive as offensive.
Houston Assault Punishment
An assault conviction in Houston can lead to serious penalties, including a criminal record, a steep fine and a lengthy county jail sentence for a misdemeanor or prison term for a felony.
In Texas, certain assault offenses are charged as a Class C misdemeanor if
- the accused intentionally or knowingly threatened another person with imminent bodily injury, or
- the accused intentionally or knowingly made physical contact with another person which they knew the person would perceive as offensive.
A conviction for a class C misdemeanor assault is punishable by a fine up to $500.
Other assault offenses are charged as a Class A misdemeanor if
- the accused knowingly, intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person, and/or
- intentionally or knowingly made physical contact with an elderly or disabled individual which they knew would be perceived as offensive.
A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor assault is punishable by a county jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
A sports related assault offense is charged as a Class B misdemeanor if the non-sports participant accused
· intentionally threatened another person with bodily injury and/or
- Intentionally or knowingly made physical contact the accused knew would be perceived as offensive to
- A sports official performing their professional duty, or
- In retaliation to a sports official performing their professional duties.
A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor assault is punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
If the accused intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury (“pain”) to another person, the accused can be convicted of a third degree felony if the assault is committed against
- a public servant,
- a family member or significant other,
- a government official,
- a security officer, and/or
- emergency service personnel.
A conviction for a third degree felony is punishable by a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
If the accused intentionally, knowingly or recklessly impedes another person’s breathing by choking them or covering their airways, the accused can also be convicted of a third degree felony with the same punishment range as above. However, if the accused commits this offense against a family member and the accused has a history of violence against a family member, the accused can be convicted of a second degree felony which carries a prison sentence of two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
If the person accused of assault family violence has a criminal history of committing family violence, they can be charged with a felony of the third degree.
Grand Jury Defense for Felony Assault Charges
If you are accused of a felony assault, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away because he may be able to win your case at the grand jury. Once your felony case has been indicted by the grand jury, this option is no longer available. Attorney James Sullivan has fought and won over 20 felony cases at the grand jury level in just the past few years. When a case is dismissed (no billed) by the grand jury, the accused has the immediate right to seek an expunction of the felony charge from their record. Sullivan has been able to do this for many of his clients accused of felony offenses.
James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.
Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your assault charges in Harris County (Houston) or Fort Bend County (Richmond).
Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.