Houston Assault and Battery Defense Attorney
The state of Texas treats assault and battery as one offense. Consequences from being convicted in an assault and battery case include anything from a misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony assault and aggravated assault. The distinctions between each class of convictions can be a fine line, and only the representation of an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney can help you prevent an assault and battery charge from affecting the rest of your life.
Whether convicted for a misdemeanor or a felony assault and battery crime, any conviction can change your life forever. From difficulty finding jobs to having the right to see your children in a divorce, the ramifications for being charged with assault and battery are severe.
Even the innocent should never assume that a proper legal defense is not necessary. Due to the complex nature of the legal system, foregoing adequate legal representation can lead to unforeseen consequences and affect every aspect of your life. Always seek legal representation if you are being investigated for or have been charged with an assault and battery related crime.
Proving Assault and Battery
The prosecution will have to prove only one of the following items to successfully win a conviction in Texas courts:
That the defendant:
- Through intentional or reckless behavior caused the victim physical harm.
- Threatened bodily injury to the victim intentionally.
- Physically came into contact with the victim with the understanding that it would be seen as an offensive act.
If a weapon is part of any of the above acts, even if the weapon is never used, the charges will immediately be raised to aggravated assault and battery.
The difficulty in proving assault and battery comes from providing enough evidence of knowledge or intention that the defendant was acting consciously and with the intent to harm. While there may be very strong indicators that a jury may find convincing, this aspect of cases can become very complex and difficult to prove quickly. Successful defense strategies have included:
- A case of miscommunication, mistake, or lack of knowledge
- The absence of any offense (someone’s word against another)
- Being under the influence and having no conscious control over one’s actions
- Age (if both parties are children)
Sentencing and Penalties for Houston Assault and Battery Cases
Depending on a person’s relationship with a victim, a past history of violence including prior convictions, and the presence of a life threatening act such as suffocation, the penalties for a conviction vary widely.
A misdemeanor conviction could lead to a $500 fine for a class C misdemeanor to a one year jail sentence and a fine of $4,000 for a class A misdemeanor. Felony convictions could lead to as much as a $10,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison. Most felony convictions include an aggravated assault aspect.
Other penalties could include restitution charges to the victim for medical expenses, counseling, and damaged property expenses. In some cases, a defendant may plead guilty and be granted a deferred adjudication. The defendant will then satisfy the requirements of the court which may mean public service, volunteer work, a strict probationary period, or counseling.
Upon completion of the court’s requirements, a defendant’s case may be dismissed, though the deferred adjudication will remain on a permanent criminal record.
Hire a Houston Assault and Battery Lawyer
If you are being investigated for or charged with assault and battery, you need the representation of an experienced attorney to help you in your case. From talking with investigators to taking your case to trial, the attorneys at the Law Office of David A. Breston are equipped to handle your case from beginning to end while aggressively defending your rights and fighting the charges against you. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine the best course of action for your case.