Assault

Assault CasesGo here for the family violence defense page. This is about regular misdemeanor assault.

What’s the law on assault cases in Texas?

To the penal code we go.

22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person: (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.

This is the definition of a class A misdemeanor assault. What’s a class A misdemeanor? It means the range of punishment is up to 365 days in the county jail and a $4,000 fine.

How do you defend against assault charges?

Assault cases are very fact specific and our approach depends a greta deal on what we learn about the incident. In the vast majority of assault cases we handle the defendant and complaining witness know each other, and don’t like each other. The most common reason the parties don’t like each other is a) someone is drunk or b) they are dating, or have dated, the same person.

The first question we ask is in the investigation is why did the police conclude that the Defendant, our client, was the party that should be prosecuted for an assault?

Cops have a tough time investigating assault cases because they almost never actually witness the assault. So they have to interview witness and quickly decide who is more credible. They have limited time, and limited information. Which means it’s not uncommon for them to make the wrong decision when they arrest someone. That’s where we come in.

Assault Defense Tip #1- You need a private investigator to get the best result.

Witnesses need to be interviewed. If a witness says our client is guilty of assault, we need to find out if they have a reason to mislead the police, or a reason to help the complaining witness. It’s common for assault cases to have friends of one party or the other as witnesses. We need to investigate and expose those biases, because the police are done with case after they make an arrest. If we need to find the truth, then we have to an investigator to get the job done. Our firm has an excellent investigator who has helped us get many assault cases dismissed.

Here’s a typical scenario. Adam is dating Annie. Annie used to date Zack. Adam and Annie are out drinking with their friends at the local bar when they spot Zack sitting alone. Zack and Adam get in a fight over some part drama with Annie, and the typical “I saw what you put on facebook” nonsense. The police arrive and the only witnesses are Adam and Annie’s friends. Who all say Zack started the fight for no reason. Zack says Adam hit him first while he was walking away from the confrontation. Guess what happens? The police arrest Zack.

The prosecutor gets the case and thinks that all the “neutral” or “third party” witnesses say Zack did it, so he’s guilty. They don’t know any of the backstory, or who these witnesses are, and it’s not in the police reports. So they take a hard line in plea negotiations and want Zack to plead guilty.

That’s when you need a investigator to go out and do research on these witnesses, get statements that the police didn’t and look for other witnesses who may not have interviewed.

What about legal defenses to assault?

Good question. We have a few to choose from including self defense, mutual combat, defense of others etc. We can discuss these in the office. They are very fact specific and we investigate which defense to pursue as we learn about the facts of your case.

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