Plano Assault Defense Lawyers
When you have been accused of or charged with a serious criminal offense such as assault and battery, it is vital to defend your rights by contacting and retaining the services of a Plano criminal defense lawyer. There are a number of circumstances which can lead to this type of violence, from bar fights and arguments to defending your property or yourself. Although the words battery and assault are often confused or used together, it is important to know the difference. Assault refers to acts which use physical violence as a threat. Battery is actually harming someone physically, whether it is with your hands, by using an object or through sexual violence.
Rosenthal Barbieri is here to help defend your rights and work towards alleviating the consequences of your case or getting the charges dismissed altogether. Our entire team can use the resources we offer and the skills we have to fight for you. If you are convicted, your penalties may involve fines, probation, jail time and required counseling. This conviction will also appear on your permanent record.
We represent cases of assault and battery, such as:
- Simple battery: first-degree misdemeanor for a first offense
- Aggravated battery: serious bodily harm or committed using a deadly weapon
- Sexual battery: forcible touching, assault or rape
Rosenthal Barbieri: Decades Of Experience On Your Side
There are many different options for defense that we will explore on your behalf. This may include constitutional violations, false accusations, mistaken identity, self-defense, being attacked in a public place or defense of your own property. At our firm, we represent clients throughout Plano, McKinney, Allen, Dallas and Collin County with aggressive and professional legal counsel. We have handled a wide range of different assault and battery cases involving a variety of unique circumstances.
Contact Rosenthal Barbieri today at 972-424-1902 to schedule a complimentary consultation!
Texas Assault and Battery Charges Explained
Texas state law defines assault and battery differently, but they’re not treated as separate offenses. Instead, the statutes combine willful threats of violence (assault) and actual physical violence (battery) into the category of “assault.” The crime comes with both criminal and civil consequences.
Under Texas law, assault covers a broad array of behavior. Texas Penal Code §22.01 defines lays out the details. A person can be charged with assault when they:
“(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
Simple vs. Aggravated Assault
The law categorizes assault as either simple or aggravated, depending on the severity of the injury inflicted on the alleged victim. Both how the accused carried out the assault and against whom distinguishes aggravated assault from simple assault.
Charges of aggravated assault require the alleged victim to suffer “serious bodily injury,” meaning that there was a substantial risk of death or permanent disfigurement or impairment. Using a firearm or other deadly weapon can also lead to aggravated assault charges, whether the weapon was used to threaten or actually discharged.
Who was harmed also affects how the assault is classified. Causing bodily injury, even if it was not considered “serious bodily injury,” to your spouse, an elderly person, or a public officer could lead to an aggravated rather than a simple assault charge.
Assault Charges in Texas
Individuals can be charged with either misdemeanor or felony assault, depending on various factors. These include the manner in which the assault was committed, the characteristics of the alleged victim, and how serious the injury was. Here are more details about the possible assault charges in Texas.
Simple assaults that don’t involve weapons or victims considered a protected member of society can be charged as:
- Class C misdemeanor assault – for threatening bodily harm or causing offensive or unwanted physical contact without actual harm
- Class B misdemeanor assault – for assaulting a sports participant during or as retaliation for their performance
- Class A misdemeanor assault – for causing bodily injury without other aggravating factors; or causing provocative or offensive physical contact against an elderly or disabled individual
Aggravating circumstances can result in one of these felony charges:
Third-degree felony assault is typically charged when there is physical harm against a family or domestic household member or a dating partner, and the defendant has a previous conviction for assaulting this type of individual. A third-degree felony can also be charged when the assault was directed against certain parties, including:
- A public servant during official duty
- A person who is acting in their official duties on behalf of the government for certain family services
- An emergency service worker or security officer performing within the scope of their duties
Second-degree felony assault is assigned to these situations:
- The offense is committed against a family or domestic household member or a dating partner, and the defendant has a previous conviction for assaulting someone in this category.
- The offense must also be committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly trying to choke the victim; or
- A weapon is used in the assault; or
- The offense causes serious injury.
First-degree felony assault – for aggravated assault against a domestic partner or against certain other individuals, including public officials, police officers, emergency workers, and security guards.
Why You Need a Rosenthal Barbieri Assault Defense Lawyer by Your Side
An assault conviction brings grave consequences. You could end up in jail, owe steep fines, and have a mark on your record that can cost you your job and prevent you from gaining future employment. It is critical that you seek legal counsel immediately after being charged. It’s even better to contact a lawyer the minute you know you’re being investigated. The experienced assault defense lawyers from Rosenthal Barbieri have the skills to build a strong defense for you.
We are dedicated to aggressively fighting false allegations in court and restoring our clients’ reputations. We treat each client with compassion and respect because they matter to us. Rosenthal Barbieri will be with you through every step of your defense.
Defense Strategies for Assault Charges
An assault conviction can have a profound effect on your life. With so much as stake, you need a skilled attorney to fight the charges and give you the best chance at avoiding a conviction. If you have been charged with assault, the prosecution will need to prove that one of these statements is true for the alleged incident:
- You intended to cause harm.
- You knew that you could cause harm.
- You should have known that you would cause harm.
Our defense team will determine which form of defense best fits your situation. Some assault defense strategies we may use include:
- The alleged assault was carried out in self-defense, defense of property, or in defense of someone else.
- The victim did not actually suffer serious physical harm.
- The victim’s injuries did not occur from the alleged assault.
Frequently Asked Questions About Assault
Anyone who has been charged with assault will have questions about what this means for their life. The best way to find answers is to meet with a Plano assault defense lawyer at Rosenthal Barbieri who can explain what to expect and address your particular situation. Here are answers to a few general questions that we often hear from clients.
What happens if I’m convicted of assault?
An assault conviction is serious and can stay on your record permanently. You may be ordered to pay a fine, serve prison time, or both. You could be placed on probation for an extended period, and you may be ordered to undergo counseling or anger management training. You could also lose the right to own a firearm.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A felony is a more serious charge than a misdemeanor, and they have different maximum sentences. Felonies are typically punished with a year or more prison sentence and a fine. Misdemeanors typically mean incarceration for less than a year, plus a fine or another penalty.
What does “bodily injury” mean?
In Texas, bodily injury is defined in Texas Penal Code Sec. 1.07. as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” It also defines serious bodily injury as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Request a Review of Your Case Today
If you have been charged with assault, you shouldn’t try to handle it alone. Seasoned legal counsel for your defense is just one phone call away. Our lawyers are familiar with the nuances of Texas assault and battery law, will understand your specific charges, and know-how to fight them. Rosenthal Barbieri will review your legal options and determine the most effective way to proceed with your case. Call us at 972-424-1902 today.