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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Assault charges involving a law enforcement officer in Texas may not always be straightforward. There could be circumstances where the officer acted aggressively or provocatively, or the individual involved may have been under the influence at the time. Regardless of the specifics, it’s advisable for an individual to seek the counsel of an Odessa attorney experienced in assault on an officer case.
When someone faces charges of assault on an officer, a skilled defense attorney can assist by conducting a thorough review of the case. This may involve interviewing witnesses, examining the police report, and potentially providing legal representation during court proceedings.
Legal Framework for Assault on an Officer
According to Texas Penal Code §22.01(b), assault occurs when an individual intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person. This definition includes 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 deemed offensive or provocative.
Assault laws encompass incidents involving law enforcement officers, as well as aggravated assaults. Under Texas Penal Code §22.02(a)(1)-(2), aggravated assault occurs under one of the following conditions:
- The person inflicts serious bodily injury on another.
- The person brandishes or uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
While a typical assault charge doesn’t necessarily require physical contact, aggravated assault charges typically entail serious bodily injury resulting from 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 or results in death, severe permanent disfigurement, or prolonged loss or impairment of any bodily organ or member’s function.
Potential Consequences in Odessa
Generally, 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, the potential penalties range from two to ten years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000. In each of these scenarios, the heightened charge hinges on the offender’s knowledge 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 wearing a distinctive uniform and/or badge for their official duties.
In contrast, aggravated assault is classified as a second-degree felony in Texas. However, aggravated assault can also be upgraded 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.
Regarding aggravated assault, Texas Penal Code §12.33 outlines that a second-degree felony can result in imprisonment ranging from two to 20 years, along with a fine of up to $10,000. A first-degree felony conviction could lead to life imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Consult an Odessa Attorney for Assault on an Officer
Facing an assault on an officer charge can be a daunting experience. An individual may feel uncertain about their next steps and may perceive limited options. Seeking guidance from a skilled attorney with experience handling Odessa assault on an officer cases is crucial. They can collaborate with you to establish a robust defense.
Attempting to navigate such a case without legal representation may significantly impact an individual’s freedom. Allow an experienced San Antonio defense attorney to advocate on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an Odessa Assault on an Officer Lawyer for assistance.