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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Whenever criminal charges commence against someone, it is, of course, a very serious matter. Defenses available can get rather complex, and there is a lot at risk when facing criminal charges. Contact our Amarillo team when being charged with assault charges.
Substantial penalties are possible, such as fines and lengthy incarceration. Also, a tainted record can harm an individual for years to come.
Should a criminal charge be brought naming you as the defendant, immediately call an experienced Amarillo assault lawyer. A committed and diligent assault lawyer can be prepared to battle in your defense.
Differences Between Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are often linked together, such that many often believe the two are synonymous. In Texas, however, the two are distinct. Legally, assault occurs when someone intends to threaten to inflict bodily harm on another. A battery occurs when there is a physical act of harming another person. Most other states do deal with assaults and batteries together.
Should a conviction result from an assault and battery, punishment is generally determined by an analysis of the degree of the harm, whether a weapon was used, and whether or not the alleged victim was in a position of authority.
The severity of the charges and sentence can also be influenced by hate crimes and whether or not the harmed party had any opportunity to defend themselves.
Simple vs Aggravated Assault Charges
If the alleged injuries or threat of injuries are minor, the allegation is simple assault and battery. However, when the injuries experienced by the alleged victim tend to be severe, or when there is a deadly weapon used, then the allegation is considered to be an aggravated assault.
Assaults of both varieties can occur any place, but here is a short list of common scenarios for assault allegations:
- Road rage
- Bar and club fights
- Self-defense in an assault or home invasion
- Domestic violence
- Public disorderly conduct
Any convictions could result in jail time, fines, as well as damages payable to the accuser. If an individual is arrested for assault and battery, they might face both civil and criminal charges.
Whenever a person is convicted of criminal assault, that person is also at a higher risk of being found responsible for damages in a civil case brought by the accuser or accusers.
Possible Penalties for Assault
A simple assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor if the injury is minor. Still, a penalty could cost a defendant up to $4,000. If the prosecutor elects to up the charges to a third-degree felony, a defendant could possibly receive a sentence anywhere from 24 months to 10 years in prison.
When a serious injury occurs and/or a deadly weapon was used, the penalties get much more severe. A charge of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon may equate to a second-degree felony and a prison sentence anywhere from two to 20 years.
If there is an aggravated assault with a weapon and it causes serious harm, it could turn into a first-degree felony when the alleged victim is any of the following: a domestic violence case, a witness to a crime, an informant, a public official, a policeman, or a security guard.
A conviction of first-degree aggravated assault means the defendant could face a sentence of five years to life in prison. An Amarillo assault lawyer can mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
Talk to an Amarillo Assault Charges Lawyer Today
Any assault charge may result in a criminal conviction, which would likely serve as a major obstacle to future education, employment, or enrollment in the military. The possible fines and jail time can be scary.
If you are accused of assault in Amarillo, you need to immediately speak with an experienced Amarillo assault charges lawyer. A skilled local attorney can assertively defend you, always fighting for the best possible outcome. Call a lawyer today.