Fort Worth Assault Attorney
Assault remains one of the most common offenses a person can get arrested for in Tarrant County. These allegations can range from misdemeanors to felonies carrying potential sentences that are decades long. Even misdemeanor assault charges can result in the loss of Second Amendment rights and under certain circumstances are crimes of moral turpitude. Certain local police departments – like Fort Worth – have a policy that if the police are dispatched to a domestic disturbance or assault call, at least one person is going to get arrested. Similarly, officers regularly pressure “victims” to press charges, give statements, submit to take photographs, or get emergency protective orders. Learn how a Fort Worth assault attorney can help.
Combine this with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s No-Drop Policy on assaults, this means a large number of assault cases are not only filed, they also end up lingering in the judicial system without resolution even when the alleged victim has no desire to prosecute the case. While there may be valid reasons for police departments and the District Attorney to have such policies, then end result is many individuals have to seek the assistance of experienced criminal defense attorneys to ensure the right outcome is reached.
Assault charges can range from an offensive touching to a fist fight all the way up to an assault involving a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury.
Types of Assaults in Texas | Fort Worth Assault Attorney
Assault by Contact
This is an offensive touching. There is no requirement for injury, visible or otherwise. This is punishable by up to a $500 fine.
Assault Bodily Injury
This is any offense that causes pain. There is no requirement for visible injury or bruises. This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in county jail. Learn more about ABI charges in Texas.
Assault Bodily Injury – Family Member (ABI-FM)
This is an assault that causes pain against a family member. A family member includes anyone in a dating relationship, individuals in a parent-child relationship by birth or adoption, individuals who share a common ancestor, in-laws, and individuals who are married. Members of the same household are also considered “family members” for purposes of criminal law in Texas. This includes persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other. ABI-FM is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas punishable by up to one year in jail. Additionally, a charge of ABI-FM can result in the loss of a persons Second Amendment rights to own or possess firearms or ammunition. A male assaulting a female is also considered a crime of moral turpitude in Texas.
Learn more about Assault Family Violence charges.
Assault by Strangulation or Choking
An allegation that a person caused the breath or circulation of blood of someone who is a family member or in a dating relationship is a third degree felony known as Assault by Impeding Breath or Assault by Strangulation or Assault by Choking. This offense does not require any visible injuries or pain. Learn more about Strangulation charges in Texas.
Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon | Fort Worth Assault Attorney
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is an offense alleging that a person either committed assault using a deadly weapon, threaten another person with a deadly weapon, or caused serious bodily injury to another person. These are all referred to as Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon although they are discussed individually below. A finding of true to the Deadly Weapon allegation will mean the person will have to serve at least half of their prison sentence before being eligible for parole.
Learn more about Aggravated Assault charges in Texas.
Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon by Threat
Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon by Threat occurs when a person is accused of using or exhibiting a deadly weapon while threatening another person with bodily injury. This means that you can be charged with a second degree offense without causing injury or pain to another. A deadly weapon is anything that in its use or manner of use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. This is a fact-based question and depends on the many factors including the weapons ability to cause serious injury or death in the hands of the person wielding the weapon. That means in the right hands a bottle, a pillow or a baseball bat could be a deadly weapon.
Aggravated Assault Serious Bodily Injury
An assault causing serious bodily injury is considered Aggravated Assault 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. Whether or not an injury is a serious bodily injury is a case-by-case determination. Broken bones, fractures, the inability to use a body part or organ for a period of time all weigh into whether or not an injury is a serious bodily injury.
Assault Public Servant
Assaulting someone you know to be a public servant is a third degree offense in Texas known as Assault Public Servant. The offense becomes a first degree felony if the assault causes serious bodily injury or a deadly weapon was used or exhibited, meaning life in prison becomes a possibility. Learn more about Assault Public Servant charges in Texas.
Felony Family Violence
The Tarrant County District Attorney now has a “Intimate Partner Unit” to handle felony family violence cases. In addition to the felonies we discussed above, this unit prosecutes Continuous Family Violence offenses or cases where there is an allegation that the assault was the second within a 12 month period. Similarly, a second ABI-FM charge becomes a felony.
Learn more about Felony Family Violence charges.
Affidavits of Non-Prosecution
One of the most common questions that come up on assault charges is whether the victim can sign an affidavit of non-prosecution to have the charges dropped. Unfortunately, once the police become involved, the case is not the victim’s case to drop or pursue. Additionally, some district attorneys, like the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, have official or unofficial “No Drop” policies meaning they won’t dismiss a case at the request of a victim. That being said, an affidavit of non-prosecution may be one piece of the puzzle in your defense.
Learn more about Affidavits of Non-prosecution.
Contact our Fort Worth Assault Attorneys
Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. During this call we will:
- Discuss the facts of your case;
- Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
- Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.
You can also contact us online: