Assault Bodily Injury Charge | Assault Charges | Assault Defense

What is Assault Bodily Injury in Texas?

In Texas, you can be arrested for Assault Bodily Injury if there is probable cause to believe you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person. Probable cause exists when an investigation results in facts that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe you have committed a crime.  This is a very low standard of proof and is a far cry from the proof the state must provide once your case is filed: beyond a reasonable doubt.  Upon arrest, you will appear before a magistrate who will set your bond amount.  Depending upon the bond amount, you may choose to pay a cash bond, obtain a bondsman to front a majority of the cost for you, or stay in jail.  The most important you thing you can do upon arrest is to contact an experienced attorney immediately.

ABI It Hurts
All the alleged victim has to say for you to go to jail.

What is bodily injury?

According to the Texas Penal Code, “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. If a person alleges that they are hurt, no matter how slight, or received visible or non-visible injury, that is sufficient to establish bodily injury for purposes of filing an assault charge against you.  Alleged victims simply claiming discomfort or annoyance will not establish bodily injury sufficient for you to be convicted of Assault Bodily Injury.

 

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What does it mean to intentionally cause assault bodily injury?

You intentionally cause bodily injury to someone when it is your conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result with respect to the nature of your conduct or to a result of your conduct.  Basically, meant to hurt someone and you acted in a way that hurt someone.

What does it mean to knowingly cause assault bodily injury?

You knowingly cause bodily injury when you are aware of the nature of your conduct or that the circumstances exist with respect to the nature of your conduct or to circumstances surrounding your conduct. You act knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of your conduct when you are aware that your conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.  In other words, knew what you were doing was going to hurt someone and you did it anyway.

What does it mean to recklessly cause assault bodily injury?

You recklessly cause bodily injury when you are aware of but consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur with respect to circumstances surrounding your conduct or the result of your conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from your standpoint. This means that you knew what you were doing was at risk of causing bodily injury, you disregarded the risk that a normal person would not, and did it anyway.

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“I retained Benson for a felony assault family violence charge. As someone who has never been in any serious trouble before the process was very confusing and nerve wracking. Benson met with me and gave me all of my options, the good and the bad. I was especially impressed with their client portal and the very fast responses he always sent to my questions. Benson immediately went to work to draft a gameplan for my case. I only had to go to court one time and it lasted less than 30 minutes. My case was no billed by the grand jury. I don’t think I would have had an outcome as favorable if it weren’t for the sage representation of Varghese Summersett. If you are looking for an experienced attorney who will fight for you no matter how serious the charges, please go with Varghese Summersett!”

Rating:★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars

When can you be charged for assault bodily injury?

After a criminal investigation and arrest for Assault Bodily Injury, your case will be forwarded to your local district attorney’s office for review by a criminal prosecutor.  Prosecutors can accept a case immediately upon intake, send the case back for additional information and then accept it at a later date, or reject it outright.  If your case is accepted, you will be formally charged with Assault Bodily Injury and required to make an appearance in court, be represented by counsel (or go pro se) and dispose of your case. Before your first appearance, you will need to contact a criminal defense attorney to represent you before the court.

What are the legal defenses for assault bodily injury?

Just because you have been arrested and charged, does not mean you are guilty of Assault Bodily Injury. There are numerous criminal defenses which could lead to your actual innocence of this offense: self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, duress, and necessity, to name a few.  Consult with our attorneys to determine if the facts of your case meet the requirements for a legal defense.

What is the statute of limitations for assault bodily injury?

The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor charge in Texas is two years.

Class A MisdemeanorWhat is the punishment range for assault bodily injury?

Assault Bodily Injury is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. This punishment range can be enhanced depending upon your prior convictions.  Depending on your criminal history, you may be eligible for probation. There are two types of probation: Straight Probation and Deferred Adjudication Probation. While these types of probations generally have the same conditions, they do not have the same consequences or exposure to jail time.  You will need the best Fort Worth Criminal Attorneys to challenge any enhanced penalties, negotiate the best resolution and, when all else fails, fight your case in a jury trial.

Click here to learn about dropping family violence charges.

Our team of Fort Worth Criminal Attorneys

Each one of our Fort Worth senior criminal attorneys previously served as a Tarrant County criminal prosecutor.  Our team has tried over 550 jury trials and handled thousands of criminal cases.  We are a unique firm in that we are truly a team. When you hire one us, you hire all of us. At Varghese Summersett PLLC our combined experience, knowledge, and talent, works together to reach the best outcome in your case.

We understand that clients who hire us are coming to us with the biggest problems in their lives. We treat their problems with the care and attention it deserves. We seek out the best outcomes by over-preparing, finding weaknesses in the State’s case, through careful negotiations and, when necessary, trial.

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All of our partners are former prosecutors. We not only know the State’s playbook, in many cases we helped write it. We have over half a century of experience handling criminal cases, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.

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Dropping Domestic Violence or Assault Cases

Assault Family Violence Charges happen more often that you think. An otherwise loving couple gets into an argument at a bar or argues over a sensitive topic and things somehow get out of hand. At times alcohol is a factor, or perhaps the volatile situation stems from an emotionally charged issue such as a sick family member or recent death. Harsh words at the wrong volume can quickly turn into the invasion of personal space which escalates to pushing and shoving, and in unfortunate circumstances more damaging forms of physical contact ensue. In the heat of the moment, one person typically realizes that tempers may have reached a point of no return, and they call the police.  Afterward things may be clearer and an alleged victim no longer wants or needs the case prosecuted. In this article, we will discuss what to do when that happens and how much help an Affidavit of Nonprosecution can be.

How Does an Assault Family Violence Case Get Filed?

Once the police arrive and investigate any claims of assault, typically one of two things take place. If the officer feels that the physical claims were not egregious or exaggerated, they may ask one of the individuals in the home if they can leave and stay somewhere else for the evening. On the other hand, if one or both parties have visible injuries, appear to be afraid for their safety, or if there is obvious property damage from the altercation, someone will be arrested.

Can I Drop the Charges in an Assault Family Violence Case?

affidavit of nonprosecutionThere are several possible offenses an individual can face after an alleged assault has occurred. Charges range from Assault – Contact which is a Class C Misdemeanor to Assault Family Violence Charges – Impeding Breath which is a Third Degree Felony. In many instances, the time lapse between the heated argument and an initial appearance in court has allowed all involved parties time to cool and mend fences. It is not uncommon for alleged victims to want to “drop the case” and move forward with life with the now Defendant. If you find yourself in a situation where you are the named victim in an Assault case, you should know that Tarrant County has a “No Drop” policy with regard to Assault Family Violence Charges.

What is the No Drop Policy for Assault Family Violence Cases?

For many years know the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and the county Victim’s Assistance Unit has worked to provide assistance and a way of escape for those are involved in relationships with a pattern of domestic violence. The “No Drop” policy effectively means that an alleged victim cannot call the prosecutor and say, “never mind, I’m not mad anymore” and have the case dismissed.

What is the Process to Request a Prosecutor Drop an Assault Family Violence Case?

If you are resolute in your desire to stop the case from going forward, you should be prepared to go through some obstacles. First, you will be required to have a scheduled interview with a member of the Victim’s Assistance Center. Victim’s Assistance is located on the 5th floor of the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center at 401 W. Belknap Street in Fort Worth. The interview gives the caseworker an opportunity to assess the situation surrounding the arrest and the possible degree of danger for you.

What is the Alternatives Class at Safe Haven?

From that point, you will be referred to Safe Haven to take a course called “Alternatives” at Safe Haven. The point of this course is to ensure victims of domestic abuse are aware of options for help in our community. Upon successful completion of the course, the alleged victim can return to Victim’s Assistance to complete an Affidavit of NonProsecution or ANP.

Affidavit of Non-Prosecution

An Affidavit of Non-Prosecution does not say the case won’t be prosecuted, but merely a sworn document which indicates the victim’s desire to not be involved and see the case closed. The particular weight a prosecutor gives to an ANP depends on a variety of factors. Some items that are likely considerations include the Defendant’s criminal history, the extent of the victim’s injuries, and other extenuating factors such as whether there were children present during the incident or if the victim was pregnant. The effect of an ANP can range from a rare dismissal of a case, an offer for the Defendant to plead to a reduced charge, or nothing at all – a mere additional hurdle for a prosecutor to overcome at trial. It’s important to note that as a victim you can and likely will still be required to appear in court as a witness. Most often prosecutors prefer that you come voluntarily, but they will issue a subpoena for your attendance if they feel it is warranted.

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney:

Make no mistake, there are many people involved in abusive relationships that need and benefit from the in-depth safeguards in place in Tarrant County to ensure their safety. For those however who use the criminal justice system as a threat to gain control over their partner or for retaliation, the door opened by calling the police and inviting into your private affairs is not one which is easily shut.

tips for assault cases5 Quick Tips if You Are Accused of Assault

Do not talk to the police without an attorney.

This is the single-most important thing to remember when you are accused of any offense. Most people do not realize the police are allowed to lie to you. They can tell you anything to elicit a response. Do not respond to their questions, other than to provide them with your name and date of birth. Do not provide them with any information. Only tell them you would like to speak to an attorney. Do not waive your rights by speaking to them without representation.

Immediately contact an attorney.

Your attorney will be able to start gathering evidence, witness statements, forensic data, and protect your Constitutional rights.

Time is of the essence.

In the event you are charged with felony assault, the case must be presented to the grand jury before the case makes it to a felony court. In some instances, an experienced defense attorney may be able to obtain a No-Bill from the grand jury before the case ever gets to a felony court due to lack of evidence against you. Whether the case is a misdemeanor or a felony, your attorney will be able to begin the fact-finding process and bring scientific experts in to review the forensic and DNA evidence to make sure no stone is left unturned in your defense.

Do not contact the accuser.

Talk to your attorney about your case so he/she can guide you through both what to expect during the investigation and the pendency of the case against you. This may be particularly difficult for charges arising out of an incident in your home. Make sure you follow all instructions and restrictions should you be subject to a restraining order.

Only talk to your attorney.

If you are arrested, do not talk to anyone besides your attorney about the allegation. Jail phone case are recorded and there is no such thing as a private communication inside the jail. While you are in custody, the only privacy that will be afforded to you is communication protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Who qualifies as a family member?

Although the word family generally implies someone you are related to, this is not the case for purposes of charging someone with assault family violence. Did you know, assault family violence may arise out of a past dating relationship with someone not living in your home? See below for a list of qualifying relationships.

–       Individuals related by blood or marriage

–       Individuals previously married

–       Individuals currently or previously in a dating relationship

–       Individuals who are parents to the same child

–       Foster Child or Foster Parent, regardless of whether or not they reside together

–       Individuals sharing a residence, regardless of their relationship

Texas takes family violence very seriously and imposes additional punishments against those convicted, including taking away an individual’s right to own and use a firearm for a misdemeanor offense. Any kind of conviction involving family violence will stay on your record.

As former prosecutors, we know the best results go to the most proactive attorneys. Call us today at (817) 203-2220 or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.

Assault Family Violence Charge Texas

Assault Family Violence Charges in Texas

You have been together for years and have worked through almost every major relationship hiccup. Things that would tear other people apart, you work on and work through. You know each other almost better than you know yourselves, all the good and all the bad. But the flaws seem to grow over time and the volume of your disagreements get louder and louder. Alcohol or some other substance is introduced to dull the pain of the hurtful words but you find yourself yelling, engulfed in rage and unable to control your tongue. All you want is for things to change, for them to get better. Instead of getting better, the same mistakes are made and words turn physical. You don’t remember who started it, but you remember how it ended. The police show up knocking at your front door responding to a call of domestic violence.

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Assault Bodily Injury Family Violence (ABI-FM)

The haze only begins to wear off after you are questioned, photographed, and your loved one is ultimately carried away to jail. Now, there is a charge of Assault Causing Bodily Injury Involving Family Violence, often a $2,500 bond, and a court setting to appear in County Court Number One or County Criminal Court Number Five. You try to handle questions from detectives, interviews by prosecutors, and hundreds of solicitations from defense attorneys. At the end of the day, you have no idea what to do or how to do it. We know. We can help.

First, understand this: allegations of family violence are incredibly serious even at the lowest levels. While they can range from a Class C ticket all the way to a First Degree Felony punishable by up to a life sentence in the state penitentiary, they can also affect your family stability and immigration status. Everything you do and say from the point of initial police contact forward can and will be used to assist prosecution, not necessarily what is best for you or your family.

Second, an allegation of family violence does not define who you are or what your family prioritizes. Family violence allegations can be resolved in several different ways: no-file, dismissal, diversion program, deferred adjudication, probation, or jail time. The best of these options are only available if you act early. Contacting an attorney as soon as the police become involved can help protect your rights and ensure law enforcement gets all, not just bits and pieces of what happened.

Third, help is here. There are classes, counseling that can get your family safely back on track without jeopardizing the freedom or criminal record of a loved one. Anger management and courses teaching alternative conflict resolution can help everyone stop a problem before it starts.

Fourth, contrary to popular belief, an alleged victim contacting the prosecution and requesting the case be dropped, or stating alleged victim is not willing to cooperate is not sufficient to have the case dropped or demised. The case belongs to the State of Texas and not the alleged victim. Most often the facts that led the officer to believe there was enough evidence for an arrest is the same evidence that will prevent the prosecution for dismissing the case outright. It takes experienced attorneys to navigate these troubled waters and secure an outcome that potentially avoids a conviction, jail time, and allows for an expunction or nondisclosure in the future.

aggravated assault in texasWhat is Aggravated Assault in Texas?

Aggravated assault occurs when a person causes serious bodily injury to another by assault, uses or displays a deadly weapon during an assault, or threatens another while exhibiting a deadly weapon. Of all three definitions, the last one may be the most surprising because it allows a person to be charged with a second degree felony without causing any injury.

How is Aggravated Assault defined in Texas?

According to Texas Penal Code §22.02, the offense of aggravated assault consists of:

  1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person or;
  2. Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon in the course of committing any assault crime, including threatening another with bodily injury or engaging in conduct that the victim will likely find offensive.

What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?

What most people think of as an assault – Assault Causing Bodily Injury – requires some showing that a person was hurt. This would be a Class A misdemeanor and includes everything from “it hurt” to any level of injury that does not qualify as serious bodily injury as defined below. That means an alleged victim could have two black eyes and bruises all over their body, but the charge would still be a misdemeanor if there was no serious bodily injury as defined. The offense comes “aggravated” if serious bodily injury was caused, if a deadly weapon was exhibited, or if the accused made a threat while displaying a deadly weapon. Notice that for the last definition – words + display of a deadly weapon is treated far more harshly than a person accused

Serious Bodily Injury

The definition for Aggravated Assault in Texas uses the term “serious bodily injury.” In Texas, serious bodily injury means 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.

 

What is Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Texas?

Use of a deadly weapon during an assault constitutes aggravated assault, whether or not the weapon causes physical injury to anyone. Whether a weapon is a deadly weapon will depend on its manner of use in the assault. It can range from things that are obviously weapons, like a firearm, to things that are not generally thought of as deadly weapons, including air (by deprivation) or a person’s hands. In Texas, a deadly weapon includes anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

What is Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon by Threat in Texas?

A person can be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon even if there are no injuries, if it is alleged that the actor intentionally or knowingly threatened imminent bodily injury and the actor used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. This is also a second degree felony. Common examples include allegations of making a threat while holding a gun or a knife.

The First Step  in Defending Aggravated Assault in Texas

The first step in defending an aggravating assault charge in Texas is to find an attorney who is experienced in using the grand jury process to try to prevent an indictment against you. The grand jury process is a powerful and often overlooked tool in the defense attorney’s toolbelt.

Defenses to Aggravated Assault in Texas

The most common defense in assault cases is the defense of “Self Defense.” Per §9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, a person has the right to defend him/herself from another person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force against us. The right of self-defense is confined to the use of “reasonable force” that is immediately necessary to protect him/herself from another person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. Another defense to an assaultive offense is defense of a third person.

Reckless Aggravated Assault Charges

Recklessness is one way a person can cause serious bodily injury to another and be guilty of aggravated assault. A reckless act is one that is committed, not necessarily with intent to harm another, but without regard for the outcome. For example, pushing someone out of the way in a crowd so you can get through, without intending to injure the person, is reckless because it is likely that the person could fall and suffer an injury. Also, the road rage conduct described above in the deadly conduct portion is also reckless because the driver is engaging in dangerous actions despite the high risk or injury to the other driver or the driver’s passengers.

Reducing a Criminal Charge from Aggravated Assault to Deadly Conduct

If the evidence in a criminal case does not prove the elements of an Aggravated Assault, a case could be reduced to a less serious offense like Disorderly Conduct. In order to understand the elements of the aggravated assault, one must understand what deadly conduct in Texas means. According to Texas Penal Code Ann. §22.05.  It consists of the following:

  • Recklessly engaging in any conduct that places another at imminent risk of suffering a serious bodily injury or
  • Knowingly discharging a firearm at a person(s), house, building or vehicle with reckless disregard for whether the house, building or vehicle is occupied.

One example of deadly conduct is road rage. Some but not all forms of road rage could constitute deadly misconduct. For example, if a driver tries to cut off another driver or maneuvers his vehicle to potentially run another vehicle off the road, especially on a highway or other roadway with a high speed limit, he places the other driver in danger of serious bodily injury because his action could cause a motor vehicle accident or collision.

Consequences of an Aggravated Assault Conviction

A person convicted of aggravated assault or deadly misconduct in Texas can be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment or counseling or repair or replacement of damaged property.

Texas law also provides certain alternatives to jail or prison sentence for a person charged with or convicted of aggravated assault or deadly misconduct such as deferred adjudication and/or community supervision. It is important to note that deferred adjudication may be available to a person charged with aggravated assault or felony deadly misconduct but such a light sentence for such a serious crime would be highly unusual.

What is more likely to happen is community supervision. If a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the court can also grant community supervision (probation) as an alternative to a jail or prison sentence for up to ten years for a felony. The court can require the defendant to serve some time in jail or prison before beginning community supervision-180 days for a felony. The defendant must successfully complete probation and any other conditions the court imposes or the court can require him to complete the sentence in jail or prison. Usually, a person on community supervision must meet with a probation officer, pay probation costs and comply with conditions such as treatment, maintaining employment, curfews, drug tests and avoiding any further criminal activity or arrests.

What is the punishment for Aggravated Assault?

ACTLEVEL OFFENSEPUNISHMENT
The offender uses a deadly weapon in committing the assault AND causes a serious bodily injury to the victim AND victim is a family or household member OR someone the offender is or has dated or had an intimate relationship with, qualifying this offense as a domestic assault.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
Aggravated assault is committed by a public servant, such as a state worker or city counselor acting in his official capacity.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
The victim is a person the offender knows to be a public servant engaged in performance of his duties or the assault is committed in retaliation for the public servant performing his duties.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
The aggravated assault is committed in retaliation against a witness, informant or a person who reported a crime.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
The victim is a person the offender knows to be a security officer engaged in performing his duties.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
The offender shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle at a house, building or a motor vehicle with reckless disregard for whether the house, building or motor vehicle is occupied or causes serious bodily injury to the victim.FELONY 1ST DEGREEFrom 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00
All other circumstancesFELONY 2nd DEGREEFrom 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00

A person convicted of aggravated assault in Texas can be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment or counseling or repair or replacement of damaged property.

If a person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony offense or during immediate flight after committing a felony offense, the offense is treated as a “3g” offense in Texas, so the defendant will not be eligible to receive probation from a judge. The defendant may receive probation for most 3g offenses from a jury, but only if the sentence comes back at 10 years or below AND the jury recommends the sentence be probation. The judge may allow defendant charged with a 3g offense to receive deferred adjudication, but this would be an extraordinary outcome for anyone charged with a 3g offense.

Don’t Miss: 3G Offenses in Texas

Mental States for Assault in Texas: Intentionally, Knowingly and Recklessly

The first definition for Aggravated Assault is a result-oriented definition, while Aggravated Assault by Threat is a conduct-oriented definition. Being able to distinguish between result-oriented offenses and conduct-oriented offenses is important to properly determine the elements the prosecution is required to prove an alleged offense. The prosecution often will not make this distinction in the charging document so it is important that your defense attorney pay attention to this distinction, especially if your case is headed to a jury trial.

The offense of Aggravated Assault is one that can be proven by the State if the prosecution can prove the defendant acted intentionally, knowingly, or even recklessly.

These differ based on whether the allegation requires a result-oriented definition or conduct-oriented definition.

Result-Oriented Definition of Knowingly:

A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.

Conduct-Oriented Definition of Knowingly:

A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist.

Result-Oriented Definition of Intentionally:

A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to cause the result.

Conduct-Oriented Definition of Intentionally:

A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to cause the result.

Conduct-Oriented Definition of Recklessly:

A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

Result-Oriented Definition of Recklessly:

A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

Collateral Consequences of an Assault Conviction

A person convicted of aggravated assault in Texas can be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment or counseling or repair or replacement of damaged property.

Texas law also provides certain alternatives to jail or prison sentence for a person charged with or convicted of aggravated assault or deadly misconduct such as deferred adjudication and/or community supervision. It is important to note that deferred adjudication may be available to a person charged with aggravated assault or felony deadly misconduct but such a light sentence for such a serious crime would be highly unusual.

What is more likely to happen is community supervision. If a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the court can also grant community supervision (probation) as an alternative to a jail or prison sentence for up to ten years for a felony. The court can require the defendant to serve some time in jail or prison before beginning community supervision-180 days for a felony. The defendant must successfully complete probation and any other conditions the court imposes or the court can require him to complete the sentence in jail or prison. Usually, a person on community supervision must meet with a probation officer, pay probation costs and comply with conditions such as treatment, maintaining employment, curfews, drug tests and avoiding any further criminal activity or arrests.

Reducing Charges

If the evidence in a criminal case does not prove the elements of an Aggravated Assault, a case could be reduced to a less serious offense like Disorderly Conduct. In order to understand the elements of the aggravated assault, one must understand what deadly conduct in Texas means. According to Texas Penal Code Ann. §22.05.  It consists of the following:

  • Recklessly engaging in any conduct that places another at imminent risk of suffering a serious bodily injury or
  • Knowingly discharging a firearm at a person(s), house, building or vehicle with reckless disregard for whether the house, building or vehicle is occupied.

One example of deadly conduct is road rage. Some but not all forms of road rage could constitute deadly misconduct. For example, if a driver tries to cut off another driver or maneuvers his vehicle to potentially run another vehicle off the road, especially on a highway or other roadway with a high speed limit, he places the other driver in danger of serious bodily injury because his action could cause a motor vehicle accident or collision.

What are Felony Family Violence Cases in Texas?

felony family violence chargesAggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Family Member

Under Penal Code 22.02, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge becomes a First Degree felony if it is shown that the victim was a family member of the defendant. Click here for a detailed discussion of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Strangulation or Choking

Strangulation or Choking under Penal Code 22.01 involves causing bodily injury to a family member by impeding their breath or circulation by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by blocking their mouth or nose. This is a Third Degree Felony. Read more about strangulation and choking charges in Texas.

Strangulation or Choking with Prior Conviction

If a person is accused of choking or strangling a family member, and the accused has a previous conviction for Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member, the strangulation charge is enhanced to a Second Degree Felony.

Assault Bodily Injury to a Family Member, Second within 12 Months (Continuous Family Violence)

Assault Bodily Injury to a Family Member, Second within 12 Months under Penal Code 25.11 involves an allegation that within a 12-month period, the accused committed two acts of family violence against a family member. This is a Third Degree Felony.

Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member with a Prior Conviction

A misdemeanor Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member case becomes a Third Degree Felony if it can be proven that the defendant has previously been convicted of Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member.

assault by chokingWhat is Assault by Choking or Assault Strangulation?

Assault, including Assault by Choking, is defined by Penal Code Section 22.01. In Texas, an allegation that a person intentionally, knowingly, or even recklessly impeded the breath or circulation of blood of someone who is considered a family member will give rise to a third-degree felony charge of Assault by Choking or Impeding Breath.

What is Choking or Impeding Breath?

Choking means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to a person’s throat or neck or by block the person’s nose or mouth.

What if the victim had no injuries?

The law does not require bruises, marks, burst capillaries in the eyes (petechiae), or any other type of visible injury for the state to proceed on this charge.

What level offense is Choking or Impeding Breath

This is a third degree felony, unless the person has a prior family violence conviction in which case it is enhanced to a second-degree felony.

Is Choking a “3g” Offense?

Assault by Impeding Breath or Choking is not a 3g offense. Click here to learn more about 3g offenses. However, the State may allege the item that was used, whether it was hands or rope or some other object, was a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon paragraph, if found to be true, will make the offense a 3g offense.

Statutory Defenses in Texas Criminal Law

Insanity as a Defense

Mistake of Fact Defense

Mistake of Law

Intoxication as a Defense

Duress Defense

Entrapment Defense

Age as a Defense

Castle Doctrine in Texas

Client Review:

By: A. A.

Title: Don’t look any further.

I retained Benson for a felony assault family violence charge. As someone who has never been in any serious trouble before the process was very confusing and nerve wracking. Benson met with me and gave me all of my options, the good and the bad. I was especially impressed with their client portal and the very fast responses he always sent to my questions. Benson immediately went to work to draft a gameplan for my case. I only had to go to court one time and it lasted less than 30 minutes. My case was no billed by the grand jury. I don’t think I would have had an outcome as favorable if it weren’t for the sage representation of Varghese Summersett. If you are looking for an experienced attorney who will fight for you no matter how serious the charges, please go with Varghese Summersett!

Rating:★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
I retained Benson for a felony assault family violence charge. As someone who has never been in any serious trouble before the process was very confusing and nerve wracking. Benson met with me and gave me all of my options, the good and the bad. I was especially impressed with their client portal and the very fast responses he always sent to my questions. Benson immediately went to work to draft a gameplan for my case. I only had to go to court one time and it lasted less than 30 minutes. My case was no billed by the grand jury. I don’t think I would have had an outcome as favorable if it weren’t for the sage representation of Varghese Summersett. If you are looking for an experienced attorney who will fight for you no matter how serious the charges, please go with Varghese Summersett!
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