Chapter 22 of the Penal code covers all types of Assaults. They can range from a class "c" ticket for offensive contact or threats, all the way to first degree felonies for aggravated assault of a public servant. When you hire Brian Foley Law PLLC you put over a decade of experience on all types of Assault cases on your side. Brian has been there and and done that. He's seen the evidence that prosecutors and police collect to try to build a case. Hire a lawyer who understands the process, the law, and the evidence inside and out. Call Now!
You can be charged and convicted of Assault without causing visible injury or even if the complainant doesn't testify at trial! It is extremely important to have an experienced attorney in cases where it can come down to a "he said, she said" situation. Call Brian and let his experience in the Domestic Violence division work for you! Brian can help you with bond conditions and protective orders and help you take back your life.
Here are some of the charges you could be facing:
Assault Class C - Offensive Contact or threat. Assault Class "C" means there is an allegation of unwanted or offensive contact with another person that does not cause pain or leave a mark. A class "C" and is punishable by a fine only. If the fine is not paid an arrest can be made and you could end up serving out your fine in jail.
Assault Class B - a quirky crime that is almost never filed, an assault class "B" can only be charged in a situation where a fan at a sporting event assaults someone involved with the event like a player or referee or coach. There is one other possibility for a Class "B" Attempted Assault but these are even more rare and are not really classified as assault convictions but rather attempt convictions. If you happen to find yourself wrapped up in one of these cases call me! The punishment range is between 0-180 days in jail.
Assault Bodily Injury Class A - Almost all assault cases in Texas are filed as Class A Assaults. An assault can only be punished as a Class "A" if it resulted in Bodily Injury. Bodily injury could be a single scratch or even no mark at all as long as the person complaining says they felt pain to the police. Prosecutors will even try cases where the complainant never said they felt pain or doesn't show up to trial. You could be facing up to 365 days jail if convicted of a simple assault charge like a punch in the stomach or a scratch on the arm. With broad legal definitions like the one for bodily injury it is imperative that you have someone who understands the statutory justification defenses like Self-Defense and Defense of Third Party. Brian has experience drafting jury charges on all of these topics and has been trying Assault cases for years.
Assault Family Member - Assault Family Member cases can ruin your life and your reputation. If you've been arrested for or charged with Assault Family Member you need an attorney immediately. You probably weren't even released from jail without being told that there was a magistrates order of emergency protection in place for the complainant. You may have bond conditions or other legal matters that you need to take care of immediately. Call Brian now and he can start working on your case before it gets out of control. Assault Family Member cases involve bodily injury to someone you live with in your "household," someone with whom you are in a "dating relationship," or someone in your family. This includes common law spouses.
Technically there is no penal code section for assault family member. There is only a provision that allows a second instance of assault bodily injury to be charged as a third degree felony if the defendant in the subsequent charge plead guilty or was placed on deferred adjudication for assault bodily injury and the judge included a finding of family, household, or dating violence, or the prosecutor can prove at the subsequent trial that the defendant's prior "conviction" was against a family, household, or dating relationship individual.
If that last paragraph was confusing may I suggest that it is because the law is complicated and even most attorneys have problems with it? Call now and let Brian Foley Law PLLC handle it.
Protective Orders - A protective order that is issued by a magistrate can be changed by the trial judge upon a proper motion. If you've been denied access to your children because of a protective order you can seek relief. Protective orders can also be issued through ex-parte orders in civil family law cases. These are not effective until they have been served on the respondent. If you've never been served with a protective order in a family case the case may be been wrongly filed. Hire a lawyer who understands the difference between the different protective orders and how to attack them on your behalf.
Terroristic Threat - While not technically an assault, a terroristic threat can be just as much of a problem as an Assault Family Member case. If a family member or significant other accuses you of making an imminent threat of serious bodily injury then you could be facing up to 365 days in jail and be facing the same protective orders and bond conditions mentioned above. Some of these conditions may be that you cannot be at your own house, or talk to your own children.
Assault Class C
Offensive Contact or Threat
Assault Family Continuous
2 cases in 12 months against Family, Household, Dating
3rd Degree 2-10 years Prison
Assault Class B
Against a sports participant
0-180 days in Jail
Assault Family with Prior
New Assault Family and
prior "conviction" for
3rd Degree 2-20 years Prison
Assault Class A
Bodily Injury to Non-Family
0-365 days Jail
Assault Impede Breath
Impede Breath or Blood Flow, Family, Household, Dating
3rd Degree 2-10 years or
2nd Degree 2-20 years Prison
Assault Family Class A
Family, Household, Dating
0-365 days Jail * Enhances
Use of Deadly Weapon or Causing Serious Bodily Injury
2nd Degree 2-20 years
There are a number of ways for the State to try to charge you with 3rd Degree felony Assault Family Member
Assault Family with Prior - A second conviction for Assault Family Member is a third degree felony with a punishment range of 2-10 years in prison. But there is a legal trick when a prosecutor uses the term conviction. It doesn't really mean conviction. Even a dismissal that came as a result of a plea of nolo contendere and deferred adjudication can result in a "conviction" for Family Violence cases.
1) a defendant has been previously convicted of an offense listed in those subsections committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021(b), 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code, if the defendant was adjudged guilty of the offense or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in return for a grant of deferred adjudication, regardless of whether the sentence for the offense was ever imposed or whether the sentence was probated and the defendant was subsequently discharged from community supervision; and
(2) a conviction under the laws of another state for an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed in those subsections is a conviction of the offense listed.
(g) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both sections.
So even if you completed your probation and your case was dismissed, you can still be charged with a felony. But it doesn't mean all hope is lost. Call Brian now to talk with a lawyer who knows this subject like the back of his hand.
Assault Family Member Strangulation - Some lawyers call these choking cases but choking is what you do when you get a piece of food caught in your throat. These cases are properly referred to as strangulation, or even more appropriately, impeding breath or blood cases. These cases are charged when there is an allegation that the complainant's normal blood flow or breathing was impeded by applying pressure to the throat or neck or covering the nose or mouth of the complainant. Family Violence charges like this require a lawyer familiar with forensic biological evidence like petechia near the nose, ears, and throat, or the lack thereof, and the physiological signs of manual or ligature strangulation. This too is a Third Degree Felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison. If you have a prior conviction for Assault Family Member then the punishment can be enhanced to 2-20 years in prison.
Continuous Family Violence - This is the name of the charge when the State claims that there have been two instances of bodily injury to a family, household, or dating relationship individual or multiple individuals committed within a 12 month time period. Getting a lawyer quickly on cases like this can make a huge difference. If you have multiple pending Assault cases in different jurisdictions you may have options to help you out before the two prosecutors get on the phone with each other and charge you with one third degree instead of two misdemeanors.
Aggravated Assault - An assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon is call an aggravated assault and carries a punishment range of 2-20 years in prison. Another way to charge Aggravated Assault is to allege that the accused citizen caused serious bodily injury to the complainant.
Assault by threats typically involve and allegation that someone pointed a gun and said, "I'm going to shoot you," or "I'm going to kill you!" However, these specific words are not required. An individual might be charged just from pointing or displaying a weapon. Causing bodily injury and then displaying a firearm can also trigger an Aggravated Assault charge.
When Serious Bodily Injury is caused to the complainant a prosecutor can attempt to make a case for Aggravated Assault. Fighting the extent of the injury alone can be the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony with up to 20 years prison on the table. Make sure your lawyer understands the difference between someone who got beat up and someone who suffered serious bodily injury. A broken finger and even a broken rib have been held by courts to not be "serious bodily injury." But a broken foot that leaves a complainant disabled for 6-10 weeks could be charged by a prosecutor and alleged to be serious bodily injury.
Agg. Assault Family DW & SBI
Against Family causes Serious Injury and uses Deadly Weapon
1st Degree Felony 5-99 years or Life in Prison
Aggravated Assault Public Servant
Against a Public Servant
1st Degree Felony
5-99 years or Life in Prison
Injury to Elderly or Child
Against Elderly or Child
3rd Degree Felony
2-10 years Prison
Class B against non-family
Class A against family
State Jail against Peace Officer