Pearland Assault & Battery Lawyer
Assault and battery refer to the threat of and the actual commission of violence against another person. Although they are among the most common violent crimes to be charged in the state, they carry the potential for severe penalties. If you have been arrested or charged with assault, battery, or both in the Houston Metro area, you need a passionate Texas criminal defense lawyer on your team as soon as possible in order to avoid the worst consequences of a criminal conviction.
Seasoned Texas assault & battery law firm Keith B. French Law is ready to come to your defense. The Firm’s Pearland assault & battery defense lawyer has extensive experience defending clients against all manner of charges, along with a deep well of trial experience in private and government practice. Whether attorney Keith B. French gets your charges dropped, negotiates reduced charges with a favorable plea, or needs to battle your case all the way through trial and beyond, Keith B. French Law is on your side every step of the way. The Firm represents clients charged with all types of violent crimes, both misdemeanor and felony.
Defining Assault and Battery Under Texas Law
The terms “assault” and “battery” are often referred to jointly or even interchangeably. They are, however, separate legal phrases. Generally, “assault” refers to threatening another person with harm, while “battery” refers to actually physically contacting and/or harming another person. Texas Penal Code section 22.01 charges both crimes under the umbrella term “assault.” The base crime of assault is chargeable as a Class A misdemeanor but may be charged as a felony if one of several specific factors applies.
A defendant can be convicted of assault if they:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily harm to another person;
- Intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with imminent bodily harm; or
- Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person when they know or should reasonably know that such contact would be considered offensive or provocative.
Mere accidental touching does not constitute assault unless the defendant was acting recklessly (such as by throwing a hard object into a crowd). Nor can a defendant be charged with assault based on threats if they did not realize they were being threatening. The bodily injury caused does not need to be serious, however; even a simple cut or bruise can give rise to assault charges. More serious injury is likely to lead to more severe charges.
Penalties for Assault and Battery
The penalties for assault and battery vary widely depending on the nature of the conduct, the nature of the alleged victim, the motivations of the defendant, and the amount of harm actually inflicted.
The base crime of assault based on threats or for non-injurious physical contact is chargeable as a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. More serious charges are available under certain circumstances:
- If the alleged victim was elderly or disabled, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
- If the alleged victim was pregnant and the threats were made to induce them to have an abortion, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
- If the alleged victim was an athlete and the threats were made in retaliation for sports participation, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
The base crime of simple assault causing actual bodily harm is chargeable as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. The defendant may be charged with “aggravated assault” with more serious penalties under certain circumstances, including:
- The assault involved choking the airflow from the alleged victim.
- The assault caused injury to a police officer or other public servant.
- The assault involved resisting a police officer or other public servant with the use of violence or a weapon.
- The assault involved the use of a weapon.
- The assault was committed against a pregnant person.
- The assault was committed against the defendant’s spouse or domestic partner.
- The offense committed was a hate crime.
Under these circumstances, the defendant can be charged with a third- or second-degree felony, punishable by two to ten and two to 20 years in prison, respectively. A defendant may be charged with a first-degree felony if the offense involved aggravated assault with a weapon or aggravated sexual assault. First-degree felonies are punishable by anywhere from five years to life in prison.
Get a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer On Your Side
Assault and battery charges are extremely serious. Without the right representation in your corner, you could face the most serious charges with the most severe consequences. The stellar assault defense lawyer at Keith B. French Law will investigate the circumstances of your charges, gather evidence and witnesses to build your defense, negotiate with the prosecutors, and make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. If your charges can be reduced or dropped, Keith B. French Law will find a way. The Firm refuses to let overly aggressive prosecutors or police officers railroad defendants into pleading to unnecessarily severe charges. Keith B. French Law puts people first.
Call Keith B. French Law Today to Fight Against Pearland Assault & Battery Charges
If you have been charged with assault and battery in Pearland, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC. Keith B. French Law makes sure everyday Americans get the same exceptional legal defense as the wealthy elite. The Firm represents defendants charged with assault and battery as well as all manner of violent crimes. Call Keith B. French Law today for a free consultation and find out how the Firm can protect your family, your freedom, and your future.