According to a survey, last year alone, a third (close to 6.2 million people) of the Texans were domestic violence victims. The annual rate is 413,000 Texans, female 2.3%, and male 2% were victims of sexual assault before the survey.

Though some may have merely been threatened, under Texas law, threatening a person with bodily harm is considered an offence and chargeable with assault. And if you happen to be unfortunate enough to be charged (although innocent), you must contact a Houston assault lawyer immediately to help you out.

Hoisting False Cases

Although you are charged with assault, you may be the victim yourself. Your partner may get emotional or overreact and report you. It takes the proper approach to have the charges dropped as you didn’t mean any harm.

Whether it is a case of domestic violence, aggravated assault, sexual assault, or misdemeanour33, you need an experienced and skilled attorney defending you before the prosecutor decides to pursue the case further.

What exactly is assault?

Any violent act or a mere threat of a violent act against another person is considered assault. As the case involves violence, it is considered a severe crime, more so if the assault is against a family member. The Houston police department has a family violence unit dedicated to cases of domestic violence.

Assault per section 22.01 of the Texas penal code includes:

  • When a person causes bodily harm, whether intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly to another, including their spouse.
  • A person threatens another with bodily injury/harm, including their spouse.
  • A person intentionally or knowingly indulges in physical contact with another person, knowing that the other person considers such contact provocative or offensive.

Texas assault penalties for causing bodily injury (Class A misdemeanour) attract a $4,000 fine and/or confinement up to one year in the county jail. Threatening another person with bodily injury is a Class C misdemeanour, attracting a fine of up to $500, with no imprisonment. The same goes for physical contact with a person that they regard as provocative or offensive.

Aggravated Assault

The aggravated assault comes under section 22.02 of the Texas penal code and is applicable when a person:
  • Commits assault under section 22.01 as detailed above.
  • Causes bodily injury/harm to another person, including their spouse.
  • Brandishes or uses a deadly weapon while the assault is taking place
In Houston, when a family member is a victim, it is considered family violence. The same applies to a dating relationship or involves any member of the household.

The family member is defined in detail under Texas Family Code Section 71.0021/71.003/71.005 and may be challenging to comprehend. Contacting your assault attorney would be the wisest thing to do under such circumstances.

Merely pleading innocence (if you are innocent of the charges) does not get you off the hook. You need the services of a Houston assault lawyer even if you know you haven’t committed any crime but threatened a person with bodily harm without actually meaning it.

It is up to your attorney to prove your intentions were not criminal and convince the authorities to let you off.

Summing it Up

Definition of aggravated Assault, family violence, and Assault can be confusing for most people. It is advisable to contact a Houston assault lawyer who will explain where you stand and help you get legal recourse.