How Can I Defend Against Assault Charges In Texas?
Assaultive offenses in Texas include the types of offenses commonly known as assault and battery in other states. To be clear, under the Texas Penal Code, assault can include threatening imminent bodily or putting someone in fear of such harm, or actually causing bodily injury. When you are accused of assault in Texas, you will first be arrested, and then the prosecutor will decide whether to charge you with the offense. As soon as you are arrested for assault, it is extremely important to hire a defense lawyer to help you avoid charges. Once you are facing charges, it is particularly critical to work with a Temple assault defense attorney who can help you to develop a strong defense to avoid a conviction.
How can you defend against assault charges in Texas? It is important to understand the elements that the prosecution must prove for a conviction, and potential defense strategies.
Understanding the Elements of Assault in Texas
Under the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense of assault if one of the following is true:
- Person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse”;
- Person “intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse”; or
- Person “intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
In order to be convicted of assault, the prosecutor will need to prove that one of the above is true in your case.
How to Defend Against Assault Charges in Texas
What options do you have to defend against assault charges in Texas? The defense strategy that is best suited to your case will depend upon the particular facts of your case, including the circumstances of your arrest. In general, however, the following are some of the more commonly used defense strategies when a person is facing assault charges:
- Mistaken identity and alibi: You did not commit the offense that you are alleged to have committed, and this is a case of mistaken identity. This defense is particularly useful if you have an alibi and can show that you were not in the area where the assault occurred at the time of the assault.
- Self defense: You admit that you did engage in one of the forms of assault outlined in the Texas Penal Code, but you did so to defend yourself against the violent actions of another party, or to defend a third party who was being threatened. The violence in which you engaged must be proportionate to the harm or the threat you were facing. In some cases, you can also use force to defend your property.
- Consent: You might be able to prove that the act of touching for which you are facing assault charges was actually consensual. If you can prove consent, then the prosecution will not have a case against you.
- Constitutional violation: In some assault cases, a person’s constitutional rights are violated during an arrest, or during an investigation that leads to an arrest. If you were subject to an unlawful arrest, for example, you may be able to use this in your defense.
Contact a Temple Assault Defense Lawyer
If you are facing assault charges, you should contact one of the experienced Temple assault defense attorneys at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC for help with your case.