The US Bureau of Justice cites that in 2014, there were 4,411,010 reported assaults. Of these assaults, 1,092,090 were designated as aggravated and 3,318,920 as simple. If you or someone you know has been charged with either assault or aggravated assault, you are not alone, and you have every reason to be anxious about what happens next.
It's imperative that you act quickly to ensure that your side of the story is heard. Dealing with cases correctly can see certain charges reduced and-in some instances-dismissed entirely. An Austin assault lawyer from Hines & Holub can help you investigate your case and determine your best path forward.
Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
Physical action against someone else is not necessary to constitute an assault charge-the threat of harm is enough. Assault requires intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening, causing physical contact, or bodily injury to another person. It is specified in detail in Texas code Chapter 22 Assaultive Offenses, sec. 22.01.
Aggravated assault means the accused employs or presents a deadly weapon during the act or causes serious injury to the victim (Texas code Chapter 22, Assaultive Offenses, Sec. 22.02). The difference in these charges can have a major impact on your life, as can the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.
Felony or Misdemeanor
The severity of a crime's punishment has to do with several factors, such as whether a weapon was involved, the age and profession of the alleged victim, and whether anyone was hurt and how severely. There are also classes and degrees of crime and caveats having to do with the circumstances under which a crime occurs and whether it is a repeat offense. Having your charges reduced can mean large reductions in both financial penalties and incarceration.
Depending on the severity of your assault charge, the penalties can vary substantially:
- Class C misdemeanor offensive or provocative contact (such as touching) carries a fine of up to $500
- Class A misdemeanor for simple assault with minor injuries carries a potential fine of $4,000 and possible county jail time not exceeding one year
- First-degree felony aggravated assault can result in prison time between two and twenty years and a fine of up to $10,000
- An aggravated felony assault of a public official (police officer, emergency worker, etc.) can bring five to ninety-nine years in prison-or possibly even a life sentence
In the case of domestic disputes, Texas takes them very seriously, and police can arrest a person immediately without an arrest warrant or summons as long as they suspect an assault occurred. Even if the accuser decides to drop charges, the case is in the state's hands.
If you have been accused of domestic violence before, your case could be even more severe and complicated. There are ways to help this situation, and a skilled Austin assault lawyer from our office can tell you what your options are.
Choose the Right Austin Assault Lawyer
When you are facing serious charges like assault, you don't want to leave anything to chance. Enlisting a lawyer who does not understand the gravity of your case can affect you for the rest of your life. Not only could you face stiffer fines and prison time, but your future prospects for voting and obtaining housing, college loans, and employment could be compromised due to a criminal record.
The attorneys of Hines & Holub have a proven track record of treating each case with the utmost care and fighting hard to protect our clients' rights. Call us today at 512-472-6565 for a free case evaluation or complete our online form below. Tell our staff your side of the story, and hear how we can help you through this difficult time.
Call our on-call attorney now to discuss your case now.
No matter how complex your charges may seem, you can have peace of mind knowing our legal team is behind you. You aren’t in this battle alone. Get our Austin criminal attorneys on your side today.