Killeen Assault Defense Attorneys
Reliable legal help when you’re facing assault charges in Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Waco, and across Central Texas
Conviction of assault charges can lead to serious consequences, and our state has a notoriously harsh criminal justice system. However, it’s not uncommon for many people to face false charges or overly zealous prosecutors. Sometimes completely innocent people are in the wrong place at the wrong time, improperly identified by witnesses or experience having their civil rights violated by authorities.
The Killeen criminal defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm can help fight the charges if you’ve been accused of or arrested for assault. We work to reduce the charges against you or fight for an acquittal. Our legal team will put you at ease and keep you informed, while providing tough, strong defense.
What are the types of assault charges in Texas?
According to Texas penal code, there are a variety of types of assault with which you may be charged, categorized by level of severity. Assault can also be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense. You can be charged with assault if you’re alleged to have:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily harm to another person
- Intentionally or knowingly threatened another person with imminent bodily harm
- Intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with another person, if such contact would reasonably be interpreted as offensive or provocative
Note that physical contact isn’t necessary to establish an assault charge. Simply threatening harm is enough, as the act of assault hinges on intention to harm another. Our defense attorneys can argue that you didn’t mean to cause intentional harm by your actions.
Aggravated assault is a more serious assault charge, occurring when the alleged offender uses or shows a deadly weapon during the assault, chokes the victim or causes a serious injury to the victim. The difference between assault and aggravated assault is a big one – possibly the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor – and a conviction of aggravated assault can have huge collateral consequences on your life.
What are the penalties for misdemeanor and felony assault?
The state and the federal government categorize crimes in order of severity, with the “punishment fitting the crime,” as they say. From order of least to most severe, following are the levels and penalties for assault in Texas.
This is simple assault, without a weapon and where the victim is not a protected member of society.
- Class C misdemeanor assault involves threatening bodily harm or causing offensive physical contact, and carries a fine of up to $500.
- Class B misdemeanor assault involves assault on a sports participant related to a performance. It carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanor assault charges mean causing bodily injury or offense physical contact against an elderly person. It carries potential jail time of up to one year and fines up to $4,000.
Aggravated assault in Texas is a felony, meaning you used a deadly weapon, or the assault was against certain individuals, like a public servant or member of your family. The penalties for felony assault are serious, and require serious criminal defense.
- Third-degree felony assault involves an assault on a family or household member, public servant or other protected individuals, or an assault involving choking or strangulation, or assault while intoxicated. Simple assault charges can be bumped up to felony assault if you have a previous domestic violence Felony assault conviction can result in a prison sentence of between two to 10 years and fines up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony assault involves assault using just about any type of weapon such as a firearm, knife, BB gun, baseball bat or the hands may be considered a weapon if the accused is a martial artist or boxer. Penalties include between two to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- First-degree felony assault is the most serious form of assault in Texas. It involves aggravated assault against a domestic partner, or against a public official, police officer, emergency worker, uniformed security guard, witness or informant. Penalties include prison time between five years to life in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Sexual assault is also considered a felony under Texas law.
If you’re convicted of an assault with bodily injury on a family member or assault with domestic Violence, you’ll lose the right to own, possess, purchase or transport a firearm. Further, you can never enlist in the military and you may be disqualified from obtaining many types of professional licensing and employment.
As you can see, even a seemingly minor assault charge is serious and requires serious representation. At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of these charges and how to strategically fight them.
Strategies for defending assault charges
If you’re arrested and charged with assault, the prosecutor has to prove a lot of facts, plus intent, in order for a jury to find you guilty. That means the prosecutor must prove you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committed the assault. Our criminal defense team can discuss the specifics of your case with you and determine what types of defense may apply to your situation.
Common defense strategies for assault include:
- The victim suffered no serious physical injury
- The victim’s injuries weren’t a result of the alleged assault
- The alleged assault was committed in self-defense
- The actions were committed in defense of a third person
- The victim consented to the actions through employment, treatment or other activity
Our attorneys also investigate the validity and credibility of the state’s witnesses and evidence, and whether or not you were treated with due process when you were arrested and charged.
Aggravated assault cases are taken seriously by prosecutors because of the violence caused or threatened. As a former prosecutor herself, Mary Beth Harrell knows the ins and outs of the law from both sides, and can give you an advantage right when you need it the most. She has the training, knowledge, experience and team dedicated to building your defense.
Defense for simple and aggravated assault in Killeen
At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, we have a team of hardworking professionals committed to protecting your rights. If you’ve been accused of assault, we dedicate ourselves to crafting an individualized and comprehensive defense. Let us help. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Waco, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us.