Assault by Contact Class C
If you have been charged with a Class C Assault by Contact in Montgomery County, Texas this means you might have been arrested or given a citation in The Woodlands, Texas, Conroe, Texas, Montgomery, Texas or other cities in the area.
Here are the most common issues and questions I see in Class C Assault by Contact cases.
What is an Assault Family Member Charge?
An assault family member charge is filed by a district attorney if the assault occurred between family members. If the case is not between family members it maybe filed as a regular Assault by contact. In Texas the Penal code lists Assault Family Member charges under the same Assault Statute that covers assaults between strangers.
Here is what a prosecutor has to prove in an Assault Family Member case:
The identity of the accused citizen
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
caused offensive contact
to the alleged complainant
the complainant was a member of the accused citizen's
or the complainant and accused citizen were in a dating relationship
in the county in which the criminal charge is filed
on or about a certain date
If the case is between strangers then there is no requirement to prove a relationship between the parties. The level of offense remains a class C in either case which means that the punishment cannot exceed a $500 fine. However family violence assaults can lead to loss of firearm rights as well as enhanced punishments to felony level if a new case is filed.
The other party wasn't injured, can I still be prosecuted for Assault by Contact?
You can still be prosecuted for Assault even if the other party had no mark or injury. Even if they didn't feel pain a Class C assault could still be filed. For example if you pour a drink out on someone's head at a bar, you have created offensive contact that was unwanted with that person. Maybe a push in an aggressive manner at a soccer game between parents was filed as an Assault by contact. There are countless types of physical encounters where one side is upset and calls the police. If there was physical pain or injury then the case can be filed as a Class A misdemeanor Assault causing bodily injury. Instead of a ticket of up to $500 these types of assaults can lead to up to 1 year in jail.
How do you fight Assault by Contact Charges?
The first thing you should do if you are charged with a crime is speak with a criminal defense attorney. That way you can fully understand what consequences you could be facing and understand your rights and how they can be protected. Even small charges can come with big penalties down the road. Especially in an Assault by contact case.
Your lawyer will have the opportunity to review 911 calls, photos, offense reports, and other evidence that may lead to a negotiated plea or dismissal of the charges. Talk with an attorney for more information about how to fight your case.
Can I be prosecuted if the victim drops the charges?
Yes. In Texas the District Attorney may prosecute cases even when the victim has dropped charges. An affidavit of non-prosecution may be filed with the prosecutor's office but there is no guarantee that this will result in a dismissal. Prosecutors consider each case individually and blanket policies on dismissing charges at the request of the complaining witness are becoming more rare.
What is the punishment for an Assault by Contact case?
A first offense is a class "C" misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. However, a conviction for a Class C with a family violence finding could lead to a felony if future cases of assault are filed. Of all class "C" offenses Assault by contact is arguably the most serious.
AGGRESSIVE ASSAULT DEFENSE
FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR
MEMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT