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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Assault charges can be complicated, serious, and leave a permanent stain on your criminal record. The presence of an assault conviction can limit your ability to get a job, find housing, and own a gun. If you are facing accusations of assault, you owe it to yourself to contact an Allen assault lawyer right away.
With many essential rights at stake, you may need a skilled defense lawyer to help guide you through the criminal justice system. Legal counsel could defend you against these accusations and avoid a substantial black mark on your criminal history that is guaranteed to show up on background checks in the future.
Misdemeanor Assault Charges in Allen
Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01 defines assault as the intentional infliction of physical injury to others, regardless of the means used to commit the offense. However, assault also can occur when no injuries to others arise. Threats of imminent physical harm and conduct that is reasonably designed to offend or provoke others also may constitute assault.
Generally, an assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor offense. If no bodily injury occurs as a result of the assault, however, the charge drops to a Class B misdemeanor. Nonetheless, if someone commits assault by directing threats of imminent physical injury to anyone who is elderly or disabled, then the offense also is a Class A misdemeanor.
A conviction on a Class A misdemeanor assault charge can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. A Class B misdemeanor assault conviction carries a maximum potential sentence of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Since both misdemeanor assault offenses may result in jail sentences, consulting an assault lawyer in Allen may be essential to achieving a more positive outcome.
In some circumstances, an assault charge is a felony offense. A conviction on a felony offense can have more severe repercussions, including the loss of some civil rights, such as the right to vote and carry a firearm. Felony assault charges primarily occur when the targets of the assault fall within certain classes.
For instance, if the targets of the assault are public servants who are acting in their official capacities, such as police officers, paramedics, or judges, then the assault is a felony offense. Likewise, if the assault is directed toward family or household members, and the accused has a prior assault conviction regarding family or household members, then the offense becomes a felony. An assault attorney in Allen could delineate all potential penalties for a felony assault conviction.
What Would Result in an Aggravated Offense?
Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2) defines aggravated assault as circumstances in which a person exhibits or uses a deadly weapon while committing an assault, or an assault that results in serious physical harm to others. For bodily injury resulting from an assault to elevate the charge to aggravated assault, the injury must cause:
- A substantial risk of death or death
- Permanent severe disfigurement to the body of another
- Extended loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb
Aggravated assault is typically a second-degree felony, which can result in a prison term ranging from two to 20 years. However, aggravated assault can become a first-degree felony in some situations, which carries the potential for a prison sentence between five and 99 years, or life in prison.
Get Advice from an Allen Assault Attorney Today
Getting legal advice is always advisable when you are facing any criminal charges, and it may be particularly important when jail or prison time is a potential outcome of a criminal conviction. An Allen assault lawyer may be able to help you put up a strong defense against assault charges and help shield you from unwanted consequences.
Having an assault conviction can be damaging to your personal and professional reputation. Do not allow a situation that got out of hand to mar your future goals. Call today to get the help you need.