Houston Assault Attorney
With a Houston assault attorney on your side, you have an advocate to protect your rights and reputation. Herman Martinez is an assault lawyer Houston trusts to provide experienced, skilled legal representation.
Call 713.242.1779 today to schedule a free consultation.
Assault Charges in Houston, TX?
Under the Texas Penal Code, you can face a conviction for assault when you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause or threaten bodily injury to another person. Additionally, if you intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person while aware that the person will consider that contact to be offensive or undesirable, you can also face charges.
Assault in Texas ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances of your case. When you face assault allegations against an elderly person or a public servant, you may also face enhanced penalties.
Secure representation from a Houston criminal defense attorney like those at The Martinez Law Firm.
How Does Texas Define Assault?
According to Texas Penal Code Chapter 22:
ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person: (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
This offense is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. However, in some circumstances, it could be counted as a felony of the third degree. Assault of an elderly individual or someone who is disabled is a felony. For more information on felony assault, please refer to § 22.01(b) of the Texas Penal Code.
The Penalties of Assault Charges
If you are facing any type of charge, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our Houston assault attorney now to learn more about your legal options.
Assault and domestic violence offenses can result in extremely serious penalties that could affect you for the rest of your life. In some circumstances, you could be refused access to your children or other family members. In cases of non-family assault, you could be prohibited from owning any type of firearm for any reason.
Because these types of charges can be so serious, our Houston defense lawyers at The Martinez Law Firm have dedicated themselves to providing you with only the best defense against all types of assault charges. If you are convicted, you could end up spending up to 20 years in prison, depending upon the severity of your offense.
Obviously, the amount of harm done to the alleged victim is a major guideline when the courts are meting out punishment. For example, assault by threat can result in a misdemeanor charge but aggravated assault can be charged as a second-degree felony.
If you own a gun or have a concealed handgun license a charge could result in the loss of your ability to own a gun. It could even result in restricting you from employing anyone that has one.
Assault on a Pregnant Woman in Texas
In June of 2019, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 902 into law, which went into effect September 1, 2019. This law made it a felony to assault a pregnant woman.
Upon conviction, the defendant faces between 2 to 10 years in prison. However, the law only applies to cases in which the suspect knew or should have known that the person was pregnant at the time of the assault.
Assault on a Family Member with a Prior Conviction
Normally, domestic violence is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. However, a previous conviction for assault on a family member enhances the charge to a third-degree felony.
With a previous conviction, an assault involving choking or suffocation may be charged as a second-degree felony. These charges carry heavy consequences.
When you face these allegations, it is vital that you have an experienced Houston assault attorney on your side.
Houston Assault Attorney FAQ
With a Houston assault attorney on your side, you have an advocate to fight for your best interests. Often, people who face assault charges have a lot of questions. This is completely normal.
Below, we provide some additional information. However, you can schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about your legal options.
If the victim drops the charges, will the court drop the case?
Unfortunately, the situation is not that simple. When someone files charges, it is common for the district attorney to prosecute the offender if they believe they can win without the victim’s participation.
Typically, the prosecution reviews 911 recordings, documentation from body cams and the scene, medical records, and more. Their goal is to secure facts about the alleged assault. If they believe the evidence is sufficient, they may not dismiss your case.
In order to protect your best interests, you need someone to fight for you. At The Martinez Law Firm, our Houston assault attorney knows how the prosecution thinks. This provides us with leverage to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
Should I accept a plea deal for an assault charge in Houston?
At first, many people believe that a plea bargain is a convenient, easy way to resolve a case. However, these deals aren’t always in your best interest. Too often, prosecutors offer a plea arrangement to take advantage of your situation when they don’t have a strong case.
In order to know whether a plea bargain is your best option, it’s important to work with an experienced assault lawyer Houston courts know.
Never allow the prosecution to wear you down until you feel that accepting the deal is your only option. As your advocate, we negotiate terms on your behalf and provide guidance on the best route for you to follow. In some cases, we may recommend that you reject the agreement and fight in court.
At every twist and turn, Herman Martinez is the Houston assault lawyer to have in your corner.
How does a mistrial impact my case?
When the prosecution feels they have a case, they can put you through another trial for the same charges. After a mistrial, it is not “double jeopardy.” This term refers to two full trials for the same charge.
If the court declares a mistrial the first time, the prosecution has an opportunity to bring the case to court once again. However, the cost and time may deter them from calling a mistrial. This is especially true in cases with a hung journey.
To learn more about assault cases, talk to an experienced Houston assault attorney at The Martinez Law Firm today.
Can I be charged with assault if the victim isn’t injured?
Oftentimes, people assume that assault charges only pertain to incidents in which there is physical harm. However, assault laws in Texas cover cases in which someone “intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury.”
What does this mean for the defendant? You may still face assault charges for verbal threats of violence. In many cases, these cases are charged as Class C misdemeanors.
However, this classification can escalate in certain situations. If you face assault charges, contact a Houston assault attorney for a free consultation about your options.
Are there potential sentencing alternatives for assault?
In some cases, typically for first-time offenders, judges may consider an alternative to incarceration. Generally, these include two options. If you have additional questions about your options, schedule a consultation with our Houston assault attorney.
When a defendant pleads guilty or is convicted, the court may grant community supervision, or probation, as an alternative to jail or prison. Moreover, the court can assign some time in jail or prison before moving the defendant to probation.
- 30 days for a misdemeanor
- 180 days for a felony
Then, you must complete the probation successfully, adhering to whatever conditions the court imposes. Only then can you avoid serving out the full sentence.
On community supervision, you generally have to meet with your probation officer, pay associated fees, and comply with restrictions. Common examples of these restrictions include employment, treatment, curfews, and avoiding additional arrests.
When you plead guilty to an assault charge, the court may offer deferred adjudication. In this instance, the court postpones sentencing for a specific period of time. However, they also place conditions on the defendant.
Then, you must comply with these and other requirements, such as avoiding criminal offenses, doing volunteer work, and paying restitution.
If you satisfy all the requirements, the court can dismiss the case and discharge you. However, the arrest, deferral, and dismissal remain on your criminal record.
If you fail to satisfy the requirements, the court imposes a sentence and enters a conviction.
To learn more about your legal options, contact an experienced Houston assault attorney at The Martinez Law Firm.
Work With an Experienced Houston Assault Attorney
As a Houston assault lawyer, Herman Martinez provides over 25 years of experience to clients. When you face assault charges, you need a reliable attorney who understands how to defend your rights.
Oftentimes, assault charges intertwine with orders of protection and domestic violence. When you find yourself involved in a situation that resulted in charges, you may also face other charges. With the help of an experienced attorney, you have an advocate to provide guidance and pursue the best possible outcome of your case.
Call today to see how our criminal defense firm can help you!