It is illegal to start a violent conflict with another person, and the penalties for different types of events vary in severity. It’s not always necessary for the perpetrator to physically damage the victim for it to be deemed illegal. Rather, it is considered a crime to even threaten to conduct a violent act. On the other hand, even if someone never touched another person, they may still be jailed for trying to cause them harm. Legally speaking, these two constitute instances of simple assault. To give a precise definition, we take a closer look at the components of a simple assault charge in Texas in this article. Next, we discuss the accusations, penalties, and tactics for defending simple assault cases for attorneys handling these situations.
What Is Simple Assault?
Given the definition of simple assault, the term “assault” can be ambiguous. States can define assault in different ways. Texas Penal Code 22.01 defines simple assault as when someone threatens to inflict bodily harm on another individual.
Moreover, simple assault would be regarded as a Class A misdemeanor if the perpetrator intentionally or carelessly causes bodily harm. Assaults that do not result in physical injury fall under Class C misdemeanors. However, they intend to cause physical contact by threatening to injure. However, if the assailant targets an elderly person, a person with a disability, or a pregnant woman, the Class C misdemeanor may rise to a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
Texas Penalties for Simple Assault
Criminal charges of assault fall into one of two categories: misdemeanor or felony. The assault and battery acts determine the charge. As mentioned before, if the perpetrator makes threats to injure the victim but doesn’t follow through, this is regarded as a misdemeanor of Class C.
The perpetrator faces a $500 fine for a Class C misdemeanor. However, the charge will change from a Class C to a Class B misdemeanor if the perpetrator causes bodily harm. In that case, the offender faces a maximum $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.
If guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, the offender also risks a maximum term of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The defendant may face third-degree felony charges if the victim is a public servant, security guard, or pregnant lady. The perpetrator faces up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine of up to $10,000 if the judge and jury find them guilty.
Finally, there is no jail sentence for simple assault in the state of Texas. However, the maximum sentence for the perpetrator is ten years in prison if they are charged with simple assault against a security guard, public official, or pregnant woman.
Withdrawing Charges of Simple Assault
The state of Texas may drop a minor assault case. There is a list of defenses that can either support or refute the attack. However, in your circumstances, these defenses might not be obvious.
Hire a Texas Criminal Defense Group’s expert assault attorney immediately after the criminal’s charge to improve your case. The criminal defense lawyer will decide on the best course of action to either reduce the offender’s sentence or withdraw the assault charges.
Given that Texas is a conservative state, let’s talk about some typical defenses that can apply in the offender’s case.
Claiming for Self-Defense
When self-defense applies, the Texas Penal Code allows for the use of force to protect oneself from an aggressor’s threat. However, severe violence cannot be justified when the perpetrator claims self-defense.
Protecting Other People
If you used force to defend someone else, the judge and jury might dismiss your charges. In the same way that they would defend themselves if they were in danger, Texans have the right to use force to defend another person.
Protecting Your Assets
In the state of Texas, your simple assault case may be dropped if someone trespasses on your property or makes an attempt to steal. Since you are protecting your property and it is not deemed an assault, your charges may be dropped if you use actual or threatened force to defend it.
Absence of Evidence
Because you are in the state of Texas, your charges may be dropped if there is insufficient evidence. If there isn’t any proof to back up your negligence, you won’t face charges for simple assault. As a result, the prosecution must drop your accusations.
The Erroneous Identity Case
If you can show through photographs, recordings, or an alibi that you were not the attacker, then mistaken identity may apply. The court will drop your charge if you can demonstrate your innocence and show that you did not commit the offense.
When it comes to assault, so many things come into play. It is committed with knowledge, recklessness, or intent. If your case lacks instances of these types of attacks, the court will drop the charges. You can cite your lack of intention to cause harm as a defense.
Types of Plea Agreements for Simple Assault
Being guilty in the state of Texas of simple assault. Someone might pressure you to take a plea bargain. By doing this, you are admitting guilt to the charge and agreeing to a shorter sentence.
These usually serve the interests of the state as well as the offender. Accepting the plea bargain saves the state money and time while benefiting the criminal by lowering their sentence and/or fines.
There are two possible pleas for the offender in a simple assault case. These choices include accepting a plea with jail time or without any jail time. The offender may enter a plea with no jail time if this is their first crime and they have a spotless background. As a result, the criminal might only need to pay a fine and probation.
Whether it was serious or the perpetrator had a past criminal history, the perpetrator will likely enter a plea with jail time. However, if a plea deal with jail time becomes available to them, It can be a lighter sentence in return for a guilty plea.
Charges of Simple Assault for First-Time Offenders
If this is the offender’s first offense for the charge in the state of Texas. The likelihood of the offender getting a plea agreement that includes no jail time is high. If the criminal doesn’t commit any new offenses while on probation, they can even have their record cleared.
Charges of Simple Assault for Repeat Offenders
In the case of repeat offenders who have a history of simple assault. They will then have to spend some time behind bars. The offender will face a more serious prosecution if their prior conviction was a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Because the state of Texas does not adequately handle repeat assaults, the charges may be more serious. Make sure to contact a lawyer if this occurs to you or a loved one.
What is the Virginian charge for a simple assault?
In Virginia, assault and battery are combined into a single common law. According to VA Law 18.2-57. Simple Assault” is a class 1 misdemeanor criminal accusation. A possible jail sentence of one year, a maximum fine of $2,500, and complete victim compensation are the penalties for both assault and battery.
In Texas, what is a simple assault?
Simple assault is defined by Texas Penal Code 22.01 as when a perpetrator threatens or inflicts physical damage on another person to do so. Moreover, It would be regarded as a Class A misdemeanor if the perpetrator intentionally or carelessly caused bodily harm.
Which assault charge is the lowest?
Simple assault is the least serious type of offense and is often prosecuted as a misdemeanor. It is done when someone purposefully or carelessly hurts another person physically or raises a legitimate fear of harm.
How long is the prison sentence in Virginia for assault?
In Virginia, the maximum punishment is $2,500 and the sentencing range is 0 to 12 months in prison. In addition, the court will usually impose further punishments, such as no communication with the victim, no going back to the location where it takes place, anger management classes, or mental health therapy and treatment.
Do not give up hope, even if you have been charged with a simple assault. A skilled criminal defense attorney can assess your case and assist you in attempting to have the accusations against you dropped or withdrawn. An assault charge is not the same as a conviction.