Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Clients Facing Assault Charges in Galveston, Texas
When family violence is alleged to have occurred in a home in Galveston, Texas, an individual can find himself (or herself) charged with assault. Indeed, assault charges frequently happen as a result of domestic violence allegations. If you are facing assault charges, you should seek advice from an aggressive Galveston assault attorney as soon as possible.
What is Assault in Galveston, TX?
All assault offenses in Galveston, Texas are charged as “Assaultive Offenses” under Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. There are many different types of assault and different penalties depending upon the specific facts of the case. Many assaults are alleged to have occurred in the home, raising questions about family violence. Generally speaking, however, assault is defined as a situation in which a person does one of the following:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury (including to a spouse);
- intentionally or knowingly threatens someone else with imminent bodily injury (including a spouse); or
- intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with someone else while knowing that other person will see that contact as offensive or provocative.
In order to get a conviction against a defendant for an assault charge, the prosecutor thus needs to prove one of the following:
- Defendant caused bodily injury and either intended to do so or acted so recklessly that he caused bodily injury; or
- Defendant intended to either threaten a person with bodily injury or to cause harmful or offensive physical contact.
While intent is often an element of an assault charge, intent is not necessary if the defendant acted recklessly and caused bodily injury.
What are the Different Types of Assault in Galveston?
There are numerous types of assault under Texas law, including the following:
- Aggravated assault: When an aggravated assault happens in the home, it means that the person accused of the crime has been accused of causing serious injury or using a deadly weapon.
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Assault with a deadly weapon in the home is treated as an aggravated assault under Texas law.
- Assault on a victim of a protected class: Family members, including spouses, receive special classification under Texas assault law. In other words, when an assault is on a family member or spouse, the charge is typically a felony. An assault on a public servant, an emergency services employee, a security officer, or another government employee can also result in a felony charge.
- Assault with caustic chemicals: Use of caustic chemical in an assault in a Galveston home may be considered an assault with a deadly weapon, or an aggravated assault, with relevant penalties.
What are the Penalties for an Assault Conviction?
Assault convictions can have a wide range of penalties depending upon the type of assault and other specific elements of the case. Generally speaking, assault charges can range from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses. The following are charges and penalties associated with assault offenses in Galveston:
- Class C Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine;
- Class B Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail;
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail;
- Third Degree Felony: Up to $10,000 fine and up to 10 years imprisonment;
- Second Degree Felony: Up to $10,000 fine and imprisonment of 2 to 20 years; and
- First Degree Felony: Imprisonment of five years to life.
When an assault is committed against a family member or another member of the household, the charge is usually a felony offense. As such, when an assault occurs in the home and an individual is charged with assault in the home, that person can face felony charges that can result in years (or even a lifetime) of imprisonment. When you are facing charges related to an assault in the home, it is extremely important to have a Galveston criminal defense lawyer on your side.
What Are the Defenses to Assault?
When you are facing assault charges, you will need to build a strong defense. A Galveston assault defense attorney can discuss your options with you. Depending upon the facts of your case, you may be able to show that the accusation was false. Or, you may be able to show that you lacked required intent for the crime. In other situations, you may be able to provide that you acted in self-defense or that the alleged victim consented to the behavior.
Contact a Galveston Domestic Assault Defense Attorney Today
You should know that a conviction for assault can have negative impacts on your life and well-being even after you have served a sentence. To be sure, if you are in the process of getting divorced or seeking custody of your children, the court can decide to award sole custody to the other parent. Your ability to get a job can also be impacted, given that you will need to admit that you have a criminal record on many different types of applications.