Assault charges involving a law enforcement officer in Texas can be complex and multifaceted. There may be situations where the officer’s behavior was aggressive or provocative, or the individual involved may have been under the influence at the time of the incident. Irrespective of the specific circumstances, it is prudent for an individual to seek the counsel of an experienced Dallas attorney who specializes in the assault on an officer case.
When an individual is facing charges of assault on an officer, a proficient defense attorney can provide valuable assistance by conducting a comprehensive review of the case. This may encompass interviewing witnesses, scrutinizing the police report, and potentially offering legal representation during court proceedings.
Legal Framework for Assault on an Officer
Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b), assault transpires when an individual intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly inflicts bodily injury on 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 anticipate 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 causes serious bodily injury to another.
- The person wields or employs a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
While a standard assault charge does not necessarily require physical contact, aggravated assault charges typically entail causing serious bodily injury as a result of the assault. Serious bodily injury, as defined by Texas Penal Code §1.07(46), denotes bodily harm that presents a substantial risk of death or leads to death, severe permanent disfigurement, or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or member.
Potential Consequences in Dallas
In general, a standard assault charge is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b)(1). However, the charge frequently escalates to a third-degree felony if any of the following conditions apply:
- The person assaulted is a public servant carrying out official duties, or the assault is in retaliation for a public servant performing official duties.
- The person assaulted is a security guard executing employment-related responsibilities.
- The person assaulted is an emergency services personnel delivering 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 hinges 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 cognizant 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 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.
Concerning aggravated assault, Texas Penal Code §12.33 delineates that a second-degree felony may result in imprisonment spanning from two to 20 years, accompanied by a fine of up to $10,000. A first-degree felony conviction could entail life imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Seek Guidance from a Dallas Attorney for Assault on an Officer
Facing charges of assault on an officer can be a formidable challenge. An individual may grapple with uncertainty about their next steps and perceive limited options. Seeking counsel from a skilled attorney experienced in handling a Dallas 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 have a significant impact on an individual’s liberty. Entrust your defense to an adept Dallas Assault on an Officer Lawyer who can vigorously advocate on your behalf. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.