Assault Charges

Assault Charges


Assault is a crime in Texas that could be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on a number of factors relating to the alleged offense. Certain types of alleged victims or certain circumstances could lead to criminal charges being enhanced in some cases.

Any alleged assault offense will create an immediately unfavorable circumstance for an alleged offender, who must try to prove in a court of law why their actions did not constitute a criminal offense. Prosecutors will aggressively seek maximum punishments for most alleged offenders in these circumstances, so it is important for anybody accused of this crime to retain legal counsel.

Assault Charges

Plano, TX Assault Lawyer

If you were arrested for an alleged assault offense in Lewisville, Denton, Flower Mound, or a surrounding area of Denton County, you cannot afford to delay in looking for a criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended scores of individuals who were accused of assault and has helped them overcome these criminal charges.

Our firm can be dedicated advocates for you in court and we will do whatever we can to make sure that you do not have to suffer any adverse consequences of having been charged with assault. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to let us talk about your case with you during a free consultation.

Assault Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a) establishes that a person commits an assault offense if they:

● intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;  

● intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;  or

● 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.

While an offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor, the offense becomes a third-degree felony if the offense is committed against:

● a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant;

● a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b) relating to dating violence, Texas Family Code § 71.003 relating to family, or Texas Family Code § 71.005 relating to households if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the alleged offender has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Texas Penal Code § 20.03, 20.04, 21.11, or 25.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005; or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth;

● a person who contracts with government to perform a service in a facility as defined by Texas Penal Code § 1.07(a)(14), or Texas Family Code § 51.02(13) or (14), or an employee of that person while the person or employee is engaged in performing a service within the scope of the contract, if the actor knows the person or employee is authorized by government to provide the service; or in retaliation for or on account of the person’s or employee’s performance of a service within the scope of the contract;

● a person the actor knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer;

● a person the actor knows is emergency services personnel while the person is providing emergency services;

● a pregnant individual to force the individual to have an abortion; or

● a person the actor knows is pregnant at the time of the offense.

It is also possible for an offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) to be a third-degree felony if the offense is committed:

● while the actor is committed to a civil commitment facility; and

● against an officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Office while the officer or employee is lawfully discharging an official duty at a civil commitment facility; or in retaliation for or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty by the officer or employee; or a person who contracts with the state to perform a service in a civil commitment facility or an employee of that person while the person or employee is engaged in performing a service within the scope of the contract, if the actor knows the person or employee is authorized by the state to provide the service; or in retaliation for or on account of the person’s or employee’s performance of a service within the scope of the contract.

Offenses under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) are second-degree felony offenses if they are committed against a person the actor knows is a peace officer or judge while the officer or judge is lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a peace officer or judge.

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) will be a second-degree felony if:

● the offense is committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005;

● it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Texas Penal Code § 20.03, 20.04, or 21.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005; and

● the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.

Offenses under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(2) or (3) are Class C misdemeanor offenses, except they can be:

● a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Texas Penal Code § 20.03(a)(3) against an elderly individual or disabled individual;

● a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed by a person who is not a sports participant against a person the actor knows is a sports participant either while the participant is performing duties or responsibilities in the participant’s capacity as a sports participant; or in retaliation for or on account of the participant’s performance of a duty or responsibility within the participant’s capacity as a sports participant; or

● a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed against a pregnant individual to force the individual to have an abortion.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(d), an alleged offender is presumed to have known the person assaulted was a public servant, a security officer, or emergency services personnel if the person was wearing a distinctive uniform or badge indicating the person’s employment as a public servant or status as a security officer or emergency services personnel. Texas Penal Code § 22.01(e)(1) defines emergency services personnel as including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code § 773.003, emergency room personnel, and other individuals who, in the course and scope of employment or as a volunteer, provide services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(e)(3), a security officer is defined as a commissioned security officer as defined by Texas Occupations Code § 1702.002, or a noncommissioned security officer registered under Texas Occupations Code § 1702.221. A sports participant is defined under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(e)(4) as a person who participates in any official capacity with respect to an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or other organized amateur or professional athletic competition and includes an athlete, referee, umpire, linesman, coach, instructor, administrator, or staff member.

Assault Penalties in Denton, TX

An assault crime could carry serious consequences for people who are convicted of major crimes. In general, these offenses are punishable as follows, depending on how a crime was classified:

Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500

Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000

Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000

Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000

Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000

It is important for people accused of assault crimes to understand that convictions carry far greater consequences than just jail or prison time and fines. Convictions can have long-lasting effects that include difficulty obtaining employment or housing.

Collin County Assault Resources

Hall v. State, 158 SW 3d 470 – Tex: Court of Criminal Appeals 2005 — Ronnie Hall admitted at trial to hitting Correctional Officer Mark Enloe but contended that he offered some evidence that Enloe was not “lawfully discharging” his official duties as a correctional officer when he pushed Hall, who was charged with the felony of assault on a public servant. Hall claimed the trial court erred in refusing his request for a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor assault, but the court of appeals affirmed the decision and stated that because Enloe was on duty and acting within his official capacity, appellant failed to offer evidence “that would allow a rational jury to convict Hall of only the lesser-included offense of assault.” While the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Hall that a defendant is entitled to a lesser-included charge if there is record evidence that demonstrates a public officer is unlawfully discharging his official duties at the time a person assaults him, Hall’s failure to offer evidence that Officer Enloe acted “unlawfully” led to the Court of Criminal Appeals affirming the judgment of the court of appeals.

Irving v. State, 176 SW 3d 842 – Tex: Court of Criminal Appeals 2005 — Charles Ray Irving was convicted of the offense of aggravated assault but argued on appeal that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of simple assault. The Ninth Court of Appeals held that Irving was entitled to an instruction on the lesser-included offense and reversed and remanded the case to the trial court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed that decision, re-affirming its decision in Hayward v. State, 158 S.W.3d 476, 478 (Tex.Crim.App.2005) that a trial court is not required to instruct a jury on a lesser included offense where the conduct establishing the lesser offense is not “included” within the conduct charged; i.e. within the facts required to prove the charged offense.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano, TX Assault Attorney

Were you arrested for an alleged assault offense anywhere in Denton County? You will want to make sure that you have qualified legal representation as soon as possible.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly defends people accused of all kinds of violent crimes and will be able to work to make sure that you can face the fewest possible penalties despite your arrest. Our firm can review your case and discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.