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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Assault allegations involving a law enforcement officer in Texas often involve intricate and nuanced circumstances. There may be situations where the officer’s conduct is perceived as aggressive or provocative, or the individual involved may have been under the influence during the incident. Regardless of the specific details, it is advisable for individuals to seek guidance from an experienced Houston attorney specializing in assault on an officer cases.
When individuals face charges of assault on an officer, a skilled defense attorney can offer invaluable assistance by conducting a comprehensive examination of the case. This may include interviewing witnesses, meticulously reviewing the police report, and potentially providing legal representation during court proceedings.
Assault on an Officer
Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b), assault occurs when an individual intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person. This definition encompasses situations where someone threatens another with imminent bodily harm or makes physical contact with another when it’s reasonable to expect that the contact could be perceived as offensive or provocative.
Assault laws encompass incidents involving law enforcement officers, as well as aggravated assaults. According to Texas Penal Code §22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault occurs under either of the following conditions:
- The person inflicts serious bodily injury on another.
- The person wields or uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
While a standard assault charge does not necessarily require physical contact, aggravated assault charges typically involve causing serious bodily injury as a result of the assault. Serious bodily injury, as defined by Texas Penal Code §1.07(46), refers to bodily harm that poses a significant risk of death, leads to death, results in severe permanent disfigurement, or entails prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or member.
Consequences in Houston
In general, a standard assault charge is classified as a Class A misdemeanor under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b)(1). However, the charge often escalates to a third-degree felony if any of the following conditions apply:
- The person assaulted is a public servant performing official duties, or the assault is in retaliation for a public servant performing official duties.
- The person assaulted is a security guard carrying out employment-related responsibilities.
- The person assaulted is an emergency services personnel providing emergency services.
For a third-degree felony, potential penalties encompass a prison term ranging from two to ten years, along with a fine of up to $10,000. In each of these scenarios, the elevated charge is contingent on the offender’s awareness that the victim was a public servant, security guard, or emergency services personnel.
Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(d), Texas law presumes that individuals are aware that the other parties are public servants, security guards, or emergency services personnel if they are attired in a distinctive uniform and/or badge for their official duties.
In contrast, aggravated assault is classified as a second-degree felony in Texas. Nevertheless, aggravated assault can be elevated to a first-degree felony under specific circumstances, such as when the offender is a public servant acting officially, the alleged victim is a public servant in an official capacity, or the injured party is a security officer in the scope of their employment.
Concerning aggravated assault, Texas Penal Code §12.33 outlines that a second-degree felony may result in imprisonment ranging from two to 20 years, along with a fine of up to $10,000. A first-degree felony conviction could entail life imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Seek help from a Houston Attorney for Assault on an Officer
Confronting charges of assault on an officer can be a formidable challenge. Individuals may grapple with uncertainty about their next steps and feel limited in their options. Seeking guidance from a seasoned attorney with expertise in handling Houston assault on an officer cases is essential. They can collaborate with you to establish a robust defense.
Attempting to navigate such a case without legal representation can significantly impact an individual’s freedom. Entrust your defense to an adept Houston Assault on an Officer Lawyer who can vigorously advocate on your behalf. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.