Personal Crimes in San Marcos Background

Assault Charges

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assault chargesIn San Marcos, assault charges are committed when a person either tries to or, does in fact, physically strike another person. Assault charges may also arise when someone acts in a threatening way that puts someone else in fear of immediate harm.

What is considered assault charges in
Hays, Guadalupe, or Comal County?

Most states suggest that a more serious or “aggravated” assault happens when somebody either tries to or does cause severe injury to another, or does in fact cause injury through the use of a deadly weapon.

Assaults and batteries are taken very seriously in Texas and San Marcos.

Laws Associated with Assault Charges in Hays, Guadalupe, and Comal County

Assault charges are often associated with some sort of fight.  But it’s helpful to know that an assault is an attempt or threat to injure another person, while a battery is engaging with a person in a harmful or offensive manner.

Our firm is experienced in handling all assault charges, ranging from a simple assault to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  We will fight to have your assault charge dismissed or taken to a jury a trial.

Many people charged with an assaultive-type offense or domestic assault mistakenly believe that, if his accuser “drops the charges,” the matter will conclude and everything will be okay.  Not so. While an accuser can certainly express the opinion that he or she does not want a case to proceed, only prosecutors can decide whether to dismiss a case.  In many Texas counties, a “no drop policy” means that prosecutors will seek domestic-assault convictions without exception.  An affidavit of non-prosecution from your accuser can certainly help, but it does not mean that the filing of such affidavit will make the case go away.

In order to make the case go away, you need a good attorney who is ready to fight for you, and that the State knows that such an attorney will make your case.  Call Case to work on your behalf!

Below are assaultive-type cases and defenses (Texas Penal Code chapter 9 provides an exhaustive list of justifications):

Simple Assault

In Texas, an assault is committed when a person either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01 (West 2018).  “Bodily injury” is “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 1.07(8) (West 2018).  Such an offense is a Class A Misdemeanor and carries a punishment range of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

Texas also has a lesser-included offense of assault by threat, which occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally threatens another with imminent bodily injury.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(a)(2) (West 2018).  Another lesser-included offense is assault by contact, which is contact that is considered offensive or provocative.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(a)(3) (West 2018).  Such lesser-included offenses are generally Class C Misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Assault—Family Violence (Domestic Assault)

Assault—Family violence is an assault against a person (1) in a dating relationship, (2) that is a family member, or (3) in a household (roommate).  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b)(2) (West 2018).  Such offense is generally a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment range of up to 1 year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.  It can also carry an affirmative finding of family violence.  If this occurs, you will be prohibited from legally possessing a firearm or ammunition for the rest of your life.  See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 42.0131 (West 2018).

If you have a prior conviction for an assault—family violence, you will then be charged with a third-degree felony based upon having a prior conviction.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b)(2)(A) (West 2018).  A third-degree felony carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Also, you can be charged with the offense of Assault by Strangulation or Impeding, which is a third-degree felony, if you impede the normal circulation of blood by applying pressure to a person’s throat or neck or blocking a person’s nose or mouth and you are in a dating relationship, is against a family member, or is against a member of your household.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b)(2)(B). Such an offense is a third-degree felony, which carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Furthermore, the offense of Continuous Violence Against the Family occurs when an assault against a family member, an assault against a person in a dating relationship, or an assault against a member of a household occurs 2 or more times in a 12 month or less duration.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 25.11 (West 2018).  Such an offense is a third-degree felony as well and carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury

The offense of Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury occurs when an assault is committed under Texas Penal Code section 22.01 and serious bodily injury occurs.  Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.02(a)(1) (West 2018).  “Serious bodily injury” depends on the facts of your case, but generally involves a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss of a bodily member or organ.  See Banargent v. State, 228 S.W.3d 393 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. ref’d).  Such an offense is generally a felony of the second degree, which carries a punishment range of 2 to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.02(b) (West 2018).

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon

The offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon occurs when a person commits an assault under Texas Penal Code section 22.01 and uses or exhibits a Deadly Weapon.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.02(a)(2) (West 2018).  Thus, such offense is also committed if you threaten somebody with a deadly weapon.  A “deadly weapon” is “anything that in the matter of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”  See Tex. Penal Code § 1.07(17).  Texas Penal Code section 1.07 defines deadly weapon.  Even a “hand” or a “foot” can be a deadly weapon, depending on its use.  See Lane v. State, 151 S.W.3d 188 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004).

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is generally a felony of the second degree, which carries a punishment range of 2 to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  Also, if the trial court makes an affirmative finding of a deadly weapon, such offense is 3(g) or aggravated, meaning you have to serve one-half of your sentence before being eligible for parole.  However, you will also further have to serve two years day for the day if your sentence is from 2 to 4 years.

Assault of a Public Servant

The offense of Assault of a Public Servant is simply an assault under Texas Penal Code section 22.01 and against a public servant.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b)(1) (West 2018).  This is generally thought of as an assault against a peace officer, but the definition of “public servant” is much broader.  A “public servant” is typically an “officer, employee, or agent of the government,” but its definition is even broader than that.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 1.07(47) (West 2018).  Assault of a Public Servant is a third-degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b) (West 2018).

Assault of a Security Officer

The offense of Assault of a Security Officer is an assault under Texas Penal Code section 22.01 and against a security officer while he is performing his duties as a security officer.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b)(4) (West 2018).  If you’re not sure of who is a “security officer” in a given situation, it’s defined in Texas Occupations Code section 1702.222.  See Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 1702.222 (West 2018).  The common situation of a security officer is a bouncer at a bar or club.  Assault of a Security Officer is a third-degree felony and a carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.01(b).

Bodily Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

The offense of Bodily Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently or recklessly by omission causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(a)(3) (West 2018).  “Child” is a person 14 years old or younger, “elderly individual” is a person 65 years or older, and “disabled individual” is defined in the statute.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(c)(1)-(3) (West 2018).  “Bodily injury” is “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 1.07(8) (West 2018).

Such offense is a third-degree felony if it is committed intentionally or knowingly and carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(f) (West 2018).  If the offense is committed recklessly, negligently, or recklessly by omission, such offense is a state jail felony and carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(f)-(g) (West 2018).

Serious Bodily Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

The offense of Serious Bodily Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently or recklessly by omission causes serious bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(a)(1) (West 2018).  “Child” is a person 14 years old or younger, “elderly individual” is a person 65 years or older, and “disabled individual” is defined in the statute.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(c)(1)-(3) (West 2018).  “Serious bodily injury” depends on the facts of your case, but generally involves a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss of a bodily member or organ.  See Banargent v. State, 228 S.W.3d 393 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. ref’d).

Such offense is a first-degree felony if it is committed intentionally or knowingly and carries a punishment range of 5 to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(e) (West 2018).  Such offense is a second-degree felony if committed recklessly and carries a punishment range of 2 to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(e) (West 2018).  If the offense is committed negligently or recklessly by omission, such offense is a state-jail felony and carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(g) (West 2018).

Serious Mental Deficiency, Impairment, or Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

The offense of Serious Mental Deficiency, Impairment, or Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently or recklessly by omission causes serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(a)(2) (West 2018).  “Child” is a person 14 years old or younger, “elderly individual” is a person 65 years or older, and “disabled individual” is defined in the statute.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(c)(1)-(3) (West 2018).

Such offense is a first-degree felony if it is committed intentionally or knowingly and carries a punishment range of 5 to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(e) (West 2018).  Such offense is a second-degree felony if committed recklessly and carries a punishment range of 2 to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(e) (West 2018).  If the offense is committed negligently or recklessly by omission, such offense is a state-jail felony and carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.04(g) (West 2018).

Endangerment of a Child

The offense of Endangerment of a Child occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engages in conduct which places a child 14 years or younger in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041 (West 2018).  Such conduct is presumed if a person possesses methamphetamine in the presence of a child.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(c-1) (West 2018).  Such offense is a state-jail felony and carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(f) (West 2018).

Abandonment of a Child

The offense of Abandonment of a Child occurs when a person intentionally abandons a child 14 years old or younger in any place under circumstances that expose a child to an unreasonable risk of harm.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(b) (West 2018).  “Abandon” means to “leave a child in any place without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that age and ability.”  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(a) (West 2018).

Such offense is a second-degree felony if committed under circumstances that a reasonable person would believe that the child would be placed in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(e) (West 2018).  Such offense is a third-degree felony if a person abandons a child without intent to return for the child.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(d) (West 2018).  Such offense is a state-jail felony if a person abandons a child with intent to return for the child.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.041(d) (West 2018).

Deadly Conduct

The offense of deadly conduct occurs when a person knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of (1) one or more individuals, or (2) a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.05(b) (West 2018).  Such offense is a third-degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2 to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.05(e) (West 2018).

The offense of deadly conduct also occurs when a person recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.05(a) (West 2018).  Such offense is a Class A Misdemeanor and carries a punishment range of not more than 1 year in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.05(e) (West 2018).

Terroristic Threat

The offense of Terroristic Threat typically occurs when a person threatens another person with the intent to place such person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.07 (West 2018).  Such an offense is a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment range of not more than 180 days in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 22.07(c) (West 2018).  However, if the threat is made to a person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence, such offense is a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment range of not more than 1 year in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Self-Defense

A person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the person reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.31(a) (West 2018).  You are generally not required to retreat before using force.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.31(e) (West 2018).  Also, the jury may not consider your failure to retreat in determining whether you reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.31(f) (West 2018).

Self-Defense with Deadly Force

A person is justified in using deadly force if the person would be justified in using self-defense under Texas Penal Code Section 9.31 and when and to the degree, the actor reasonably believes that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.32 (West 2018).  You generally are not required to retreat before using deadly force.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.32(c) (West 2018).  Also, the jury may not consider your failure to retreat in determining whether you reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.32(c) (West 2018).

Self-Defense of a Third Person (Another)

A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if the person reasonably believed that the third person would be justified in acting in self-defense.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.33 (West 2018).  The bottom line is that, if the third person would be justified in acting in self-defense of himself, you are justified to act in self-defense of him.

Self-Defense of Property

A person is generally justified in using force to protect his property or recover his property when and to the degree, the person reasonably believes that force is immediately necessary to prevent or recover such property immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.41 (West 2018).  A person may be justified in using deadly force to protect or recover his property as well.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.42. (West 2018).  A person is also justified in using force or deadly force to protect or recover a third person’s property when and to the degree the third person would be justified in using force or deadly force to protect or recover his property.  See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 9.43 (West 2018).

Contact the Expert

If you are charged with assault, you should certainly seek a knowledgeable lawyer to defend you. At the Law Office of Case J. Darwin Inc., we strive to help you achieve the best possible outcome regardless of the circumstances.  Keep in mind that even simple misdemeanor assault charges on your record can have devastating effects later on. This is particularly true if you are trying to get a job or obtain any type of loan.

Our Hays, Guadalupe, and Comal County criminal law firm has handled all levels of assault charges and has been successful in resolving our client cases. If you have been charged with any sort of assault crime, please know that we are here for you.

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