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Understanding assault charges in Texas

| Sep 15, 2020 | Criminal Defense

You wake up in the cell with a hangover. So much for a quiet Friday night out in San Antonio. All you can do is wait until your girlfriend appears with the bail money. She is mad at you for fighting, so she may take her time about it, even though you were only trying to defend her honor, and the other guy started it.

When the alcohol flows on a hot summer night, misunderstandings in a bar can get out of hand and lead to assault charges. In Texas, the law considers various categories of assault. You do not need to injure someone to be charged with assault; threatening or making physical contact in a way considered offensive or aggressive may suffice.

How are charges determined?

The charges and the punishment depend upon a few things:

  • What you did: Twisting someone’s little finger is not considered as severe as biting it off. Trying to choke someone may lead to felony charges, for example.
  • Who you did it to: Assault against an older person, someone you live with, a police officer, emergency worker or security guard is considered a more severe offense.
  • What you used: A weapon could increase the charge to aggravated assault.
  • Why you did it: If you were provoked or acted in self-defense or to defend someone else, it may lessen or nullify any charges against you.
  • Whether you did it on purpose: It is possible to injure someone through recklessness. It is a lesser offense than intentionally trying to cause an injury.

A San Antonio attorney will consider the circumstances and look for the best line of defense. In some cases, they may try to reduce the charges or seek to have them dismissed altogether.