If you’ve been arrested on assault charges in Dallas, TX, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed and scared about the future. That’s only natural. Dallas prosecutors take assault and all violent crimes very seriously. However, before you can face the consequences, the prosecution has to convict.
At the Edgett Law Firm, our Dallas assault defense lawyers know what it takes to effectively defend your rights. With nearly 20 years of experience and a trail of successful outcomes, we have the proven skills you want on your side.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, give us a call to arrange a free consultation today.
How Our Experienced Dallas Defense Lawyers Can Help You Fight Your Assault Charges
The Dallas criminal attorneys at the Edgett Law Firm have over a decade of hands-on experience fighting for clients’ rights.
When we walk into a Dallas, TX courtroom, our reputation for winning not guilty verdicts against local prosecutors comes with us. That’s exactly the type of experience that can work in your favor when it comes to minimizing the consequences of your arrest.
Our assault defense lawyers will handle every aspect of your case and aggressively fight the charges against you. That means we will:
Help You Make Tough Choices
Depending upon the circumstances and your history, you might have some difficult decisions to make while your case is pending. Sometimes, the prosecution will offer a plea bargain. Accepting means that you plead guilty to reduced charges, but avoid a lengthy trial.
Accepting a plea isn’t always the best move. Our lawyers will work closely with you and:
- Locate all relevant evidence
- Learn about your criminal history and help you understand how that impacts your chances of success
- Help you understand whether the prosecution’s case is strong or weak
- Make sure you know the consequences of accepting the plea
- Negotiate to get the best possible deal or continue preparing your case for trial
Our lawyers are known as successful trial lawyers. That means we prepare every case as though we were going to trial. Plea bargains can help some clients minimize the fallout of their actions–but they aren’t your only option. We’re here to help you understand all angles so that you can make an informed choice.
Protect Your Rights
It’s the prosecution’s job to convict those who have been charged with a crime. Unfortunately, police and prosecutors sometimes overreach and violate your rights under Texas and U.S. law. Constitutional violations might make it easier to convict–but only if your lawyer doesn’t catch them.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we have the experience to identify constitutional violations. We work to stop the prosecution from benefiting from those infringements. Our attorneys will approach the prosecutor, or even the judge, and make sure illegally obtained evidence and statements are excluded from your case.
Negotiate on Your Behalf
Assault is one of the most commonly charged violent crimes in Texas. You don’t even have to hurt someone to be charged and convicted of assault. While it’s the prosecutor’s job to convict, sometimes justice is best served by avoiding trial and formal conviction.
Our defense attorneys will work behind the scenes to get the most favorable outcome for you. That might mean different things depending on the facts of your case. We might be able to get an aggravated assault charge downgraded to simple assault. In some cases, we might be able to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges entirely.
Our lawyers have been handling cases like yours for years. We know the types of evidence that can persuade the prosecutor to offer a better deal. If you’re interested in learning more about the options that might be available in your specific case, just call for a free consultation today.
Overview of Texas Laws on Assault
If you’ve been charged with assault in Texas, you might already know that you don’t actually have to hurt anyone to be charged. “Battery” is the legal term used to define the actual harm caused. In Texas, the two are combined into the law on assault.
Further, there are different types of assault–and differing levels of severity. In Texas, you might be charged with simple assault or aggravated assault. Our Texas criminal defense attorneys in Dallas handle all types of assault charges, including:
A person is guilty of assault (sometimes called “simple” assault) under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01 for:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, including a spouse
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another person if the actor knows or should know that the other person would find the contact offensive or provocative
An assault that causes bodily injury is generally a Class A misdemeanor. If the charge is based on a threat or physical contact, it is a Class C misdemeanor. If the threat is made against someone who is elderly or disabled, the charges are upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor.
Depending upon the identity of the victim or the relationship between the parties, however, assault can be elevated to a third-degree felony. For example, charges can be elevated if the victim is a public servant or the case involved domestic violence.
Assault against a judge or peace officer is generally a much more serious second-degree felony.
Under Section 22.02, assault charges can be aggravated if:
- The actor causes serious bodily injury to the victim, or
- The actor uses a deadly weapon in committing the assault
Aggravated assault is usually a second-degree felony. If a deadly weapon is used and the actor seriously injures someone the actor shares a domestic relationship with, the charges can be elevated to a first-degree felony. Aggravated assault against a public servant is also a first-degree felony.
It is also a crime under Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code to recklessly engage in conduct that places another in imminent risk of serious bodily injury.
The law on deadly conduct also makes it a crime to:
- Discharge a firearm aimed at another person
- Discharge a firearm aimed at a vehicle, habitation or building, regardless of whether the actor knows that it’s occupied
If the conduct is considered reckless, deadly conduct is a Class A misdemeanor. Deadly conduct involving a firearm is a third-degree felony in Texas.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction in Texas
The criminal penalties for an assault conviction can be serious. Even if you’re only facing misdemeanor charges, however, it’s important to remember the damage that a criminal record can cause. Any time you apply for a job or housing, you might have to disclose your criminal record–and a history of violence won’t make your life any easier.
Under Texas law, conviction for assault or aggravated assault can lead to the following penalty ranges, depending upon the grading of the assault:
- Class C Misdemeanor charges carry a $500 fine
- Class A Misdemeanor charges can result in up to one year in jail and $4,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony charges carry between two and 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Second-degree felony charges carry between two and 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- If convicted on first-degree felony charges, you’ll face five years to life in prison
If you’ve been charged with assault in Texas, it’s important to call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Edgett Law Firm, our criminal attorneys are here to help you fight the charges against you. To schedule your free consultation, all you have to do is call our law firm for help with your legal issues.
Developing an Effective Defense to Assault Charges
The most effective defense strategy to your assault charges will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of your case. One of the more common defenses to assault is mutual consent. In other words, it can be a defense to simple assault if you engaged in a mutual fight with another person.
Elements that might also work in your defense include:
- Self defense
- Defense of another person
- Mistaken identity
- Mistake of fact
- Involuntary intoxication
- Defense of your home or property
Police often arrest people for assault based upon weak evidence, before they know all of the facts. If you or a family member have been arrested, know that you don’t have to wait to be charged to call an attorney with experience in criminal law. You have the right to speak with an attorney even if you’re only being questioned–and exercising that constitutional right doesn’t make you look guilty.
To learn more about how we can help, call our law office to speak with our experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyers today.
Contact a Proven Dallas Assault Defense Lawyer Today
The Texas criminal justice system can be complicated and punishing. Trying to navigate your charges alone is almost always a mistake. With an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side, you greatly increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
If you’re facing assault charges and ready to learn more about how a skilled defense can help in your case, call an experienced Dallas assault defense lawyer at the Edgett Law Firm today.