Are you facing an assault charge in Plano, TX? An assault conviction can have a lasting impact on your life and cause you to lose your freedom, no matter the circumstances. You may even face consequences as soon as you are arrested, including job loss.
Under Texas law, being arrested for and convicted of assault does not even require physical contact. This can make it easy for a simple argument or even false allegations to lead to jail time. The Edgett Law Firm is here to fight for you against the charges you are facing with the legal defense you deserve. Call our law firm today for a free consultation with a Plano assault defense lawyer who can help.
How the Edgett Law Firm Can Help You Fight an Assault Charge
Assault is considered a violent crime in Texas, even though you can be convicted without actually touching someone else. As such, conviction comes with stiff penalties that may include many years in prison. Many people in Texas have faced serious assault charges due to misunderstandings, such as an argument that got too heated, trying to defend themselves, or even false allegations.
Don’t count on the prosecuting attorney being sympathetic. The prosecutor may seek the most serious charge possible with the stiffest penalties or push you to accept a plea deal even when you are not guilty.
An experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer will be on your side to protect your rights and fight for your freedom. At the Edgett Law Firm, our Plano assault defense lawyers are here to help you overcome challenges in your case and fight for your freedom. You deserve a vigorous defense, no matter the circumstances of your arrest. We have successfully handled more than 5,000 cases with decades of experience defending clients facing assault charges.
When you hire the Edgett Law Firm to fight for you, you can count on us to:
- Protect your legal rights
- Guide you through the complex criminal justice process
- Investigate your case and gather evidence to support your defense
- Negotiate with prosecutors to seek a potential plea bargain if it is in your best interests
- Present a compelling defense on your behalf before a jury if your case goes to trial
You do not need to face an assault charge alone. Contact the Edgett Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a Plano criminal defense lawyer who can help.
What Is Assault in Plano, Texas?
Under Texas law, there are two basic types of assault: simple assault and aggravated assault. These assault charges are covered under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01. Unlike some states, which separate the traditional crimes of battery and assault, Texas combines them into a single offense.
This means that you may be charged with assault without actually making physical contact with someone else or causing bodily injury.
In Texas, if law enforcement witnesses you assaulting someone or trying to cause harm, you can be immediately arrested and charged with assault. If you are simply being accused of assault, a judge and the alleged victim must make statements and file for a warrant before assault charges are made against you.
There is an important exception, however: when the allegations involve domestic violence, police can make an arrest and charge you without witnessing threats or assault.
Depending on whether the crime is charged as simple assault and aggravated assault, and the circumstances of the incident, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Simple assault is defined under Texas law as intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly:
- Causing bodily injury to someone else
- Threatening someone with imminent bodily harm
- Causing physical contact with someone knowing or reasonably suspecting the other person will find it provocative or offensive
Simple assault can be charged if you cause even minor injuries such as a bruise or touch someone to offend or provoke them, such as touching them suggestively or poking them.
In most cases, simple assault is a misdemeanor.
An assault charge can be elevated to aggravated assault when either of the following circumstances are true:
- A deadly weapon was used or exhibited during the assault
- The assault caused serious bodily injury
Serious bodily injury is typically defined as one that causes impairment, such as a fracture; disfigurement such as permanent scars; or death.
Aggravated assault is a felony in Texas. It is usually a second-degree felony but it is upgraded to a first-degree felony if:
- A deadly weapon causes serious bodily injury
- The offense is committed by or against a public servant
- The offense is against a security officer, witness, or informant
- The perpetrator is in a vehicle and discharges a firearm at a home or building, causing serious bodily injury
A first-degree felony is the most serious type of assault.
Domestic Assault Charges
Texas does not have a specific domestic assault statute like some states. Violence or threats against a member of your household, a family member, or dating partner can be considered domestic violence, including stalking.
Simple domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor that can be upgraded to a third-degree felony if you have prior convictions for domestic violence. Aggravated domestic violence is a second-degree felony. If a deadly weapon causes a serious injury, it is a first-degree felony.
You may also be charged with continuous violence against the family if you have two or more arrests or convictions for domestic violence within two months. This is a third-degree felony.
Penalties for Assault in Plano
In Collin County and Denton County, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If convicted, you may face anything from a maximum penalty of a fine or a long prison sentence. The severity of the punishment will depend on your prior criminal record, the victim’s relationship to you, whether a weapon was used, and other factors.
The following are the penalties you may face if convicted.
- Class C misdemeanor: fine of up to $500.
- Class B misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanor: up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
- Third-degree felony: up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony: 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-degree felony: 5 years to life in prison.
An assault conviction can have serious consequences outside of fines and jail time. If you are convicted of domestic assault, you can lose custody of your children or have your time with them limited. An assault conviction can strip you of some legal rights and make it difficult to get a job.
An assault arrest can also lead to a protective order. This type of order is designed to protect a victim of abuse, but it can be abused during infidelity, divorce, or child custody battles. If a protective order is filed against you, you may be restricted from seeing children you share with the alleged victim or even entering your home.
Depending on your prior criminal history and the charge, alternatives to jail may be possible. Your Plano assault defense attorney will fight to have the charges against you dropped or reduced. You may also qualify for deferred adjudication, probation, or community service instead of jail.
Possible Defenses to an Assault Charge
It may feel hopeless when you are facing prosecution for assault, especially when law enforcement was not interested in hearing your side of what happened. Your Plano assault lawyer will serve as your advocate to help you build the strongest legal defense possible. Depending on the circumstances, there may be many defenses against the assault charge:
- You were acting in self-defense or defending someone else
- You have been falsely accused of the crime of assault
- You were acting under duress or force
- There is no compelling evidence supporting the charge against you
Your criminal defense attorneys in Plano may advise other strategies. For instance, attacking the validity of the prosecution’s evidence against you may be a sound strategy. Evidence may have been collected in a way that violates your rights, in which case it is inadmissible.
The most common defense to assault is self-defense. You have the right to defend yourself or someone else if there was a real or honest perceived threat of harm, you were not committing harm or provocation, and you could not easily escape the situation.
These are only examples of possible defenses that may be available in your case. The defense attorneys at the Edgett Law Firm have years of experience successfully defending Plano residents against assault charges. Contact our law office to discuss the details of your case and possible defenses that may be available.
Contact Our Plano Assault Defense Lawyers Today
With your freedom and good name on the line, it’s crucial to seek experienced legal counsel when you are facing criminal charges for assault in Plano, TX. If convicted, you may face not only jail time but job loss, issues with custody, and hefty fines. At the Edgett Law Firm, we are here to help with more than 5,000 criminal cases successfully handled for our clients.
Call our law firm today to schedule a free case review with a Plano, TX criminal assault defense lawyer. We will help you review your legal options and walk you through the next steps to take in your case.