In Texas, assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, threatening bodily harm to another person, or causing physical contact with another person. These actions can be classified as either misdemeanor or felony assault depending on the severity of the injury caused, whether a weapon was used, and the relationship between the victim and the accused.
It’s important to note that in many cases, an individual may have acted in self-defense but still be charged with assault. Protecting yourself against harm is your right. Making a claim of self-defense can be used in court if it can be proven that the accused truly believed they were in immediate danger and the actions they took were necessary to protect themselves. A random act of violence is extremely rare, and there is usually an obvious series of events that lead up to the alleged assault. In order to consider an act of violence to be self-defense, it usually has to be reasonable from the point of view of the person exercising self defense. When you believe your life’s on the line, that’s easier said than done but a full yet focused investigation is crucial to any defense. Waiting to see whether someone else wants to end your life is not a risk most people are willing to take. If you’re ever involved in a physical altercation, it is important to seek medical attention, document any injuries, and call legal counsel as soon as possible. And stay quiet.
The penalties for an assault conviction are varied. It depends on the events that lead to the assault, the relationship of the involved parties, and the nature of the violent acts. An assault conviction can carry a sentence of up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Verbal or physical threats can lead to a misdemeanor and a $500 fine, while extreme cases that result in a death can land the accused in prison for five years to a life sentence. If you find yourself in this position, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. Call our office at (806) 372-5711 as soon as possible.