In Texas criminal law, there is no such thing as ”Assault and Battery”, and if you are charged in Houston or any of its surrounding areas the offense is just called an Assault. The Texas Penal Code allows the government to arrest and charge someone with assault if they believe a person:
(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Tex. Penal Code 22.01(a)
An assault can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the charge. This includes, among other things, prior criminal history, the severity of the injuries, and relationship to the complainant or victim. This means that the punishment range can vary from a fine to potentially a prison sentence depending on how the offense is charged, and of course the quality of your criminal defense attorney.
If the complainant is a family member, then the charges will include a finding of family violence. In this situation, any disposition other than a dismissal or not guilty verdict, cannot be sealed or expunged from your record, and will affect many of your rights, including your right to own a firearm. In Assault Family Violence cases, the government maintains the right and ability to prosecute these cases even if the complainant or victim does not want to go forward with the case. For example, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has an entire division dedicated to handling these types of cases called the Family Criminal Law Division, or “FCLD”.
If you or your loved one in Houston has been charged with assault or assault family violence, you should contact an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer before making any statements to police, investigators, or anyone about the facts of the case. These statements will likely be recorded and used by the government in prosecuting the case.
NOTE: This information is not intended to be legal advice and is merely used for general educational purposes. For legal advice about a specific case call Houston criminal defense attorney Brandon R. Cammack at 713-300-9291 or schedule a free consultation online.