In Texas, the crime of assault can take on multiple definitions. In some cases, the mere threat of violence constitutes a form of assault, and in others, physical contact must be made. All of the different legal statutes can lead to some serious confusion after someone has been charged with assault. Not knowing or understanding the details of an accusation can hamper the defendant’s chances in court.
If you have been charged with assault in Texas, it helps to take some time to learn about a few common definitions, including:
- Aggravated assault: The offender willfully attempts to harm another and succeeds, causing serious bodily injury that often requires immediate medical attention.
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Any form of assault that occurs while the offender is holding onto, in control of, or threatens to use a deadly weapon. Several items are always considered to be a deadly weapon, such as a knife or firearm. But the definition of a deadly weapon is intentionally vague as it can include essentially anything with which the offender intends to cause severe harm. For example, a calligraphy pen seems harmless but can be a deadly weapon if the offender tries to stab another with its metal end.
- Sexual assault: Sometimes categorized as rape, sexual assault is the use of force in order to engage in, complete, or receive a sexual act. Sexual assault charges are a unique form of assault in that penalties can include lifelong registration to sexual offender lists.
- Assault family violence: If the alleged victim of any sort of assault is related to or resides with the offender, it is categorized as assault family violence. Upon conviction, the offender may be forced to relocate, lose child custody rights, and experience other punishments pertinent to family life.
- Assault on a public servant: Penalties for an assault conviction that named a public servant – police officer, paramedic, firefighter, teacher, etc. – can be harshly escalated compared to the same action against a most anyone else.
What do all of these different forms of assault in Texas have in common? Damaging penalties upon conviction. Even simple assault – the verbal, convincing threat of violence against another – often results in a year behind bars and several thousand dollars in fines and fees.
If you have been charged with any type of assault, the Law Offices of Kyle K. Shaw, PLLC and our Allen criminal defense attorney can come to your aid. We have been defending the accused in Collin County for nearly 20 years. Contact us today to learn what that level of experience can do for your case.