If you have been charged with assault causing bodily injury in Weatherford, Texas, you are facing misdemeanor charges. In Texas, someone may be convicted of assault if the individual intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person. The state has the burden of proof in these claims and, if the state cannot prove each element of an assault charge, the charges must be reduced or dismissed. An experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure that someone accused of assault is protected throughout the claim.
What is bodily injury?
To prove an assault claim, the state of Texas must show that the offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to someone else. But what is bodily injury?
According to Texas Penal Code Section 1.07(a)(8), bodily injury is “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”
Injuries do not have to be life threatening or critical for an offender to be charged with assault causing bodily injury. The law is broad and covers a wide range of injuries.
What is “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” causing bodily injury?
The state of Texas must prove that the offender had a certain mental state when committing the assault.
A person acts intentionally “when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.”
According to state laws, a person acts knowingly “when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.”
A person acts recklessly “when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the results will occur.”
Penalties for assault causing bodily injury
Penalties for criminal charges in Texas vary depending on the nature of the crime and the offender’s background. Whereas some crimes may result in a fine, others may require prison time.
Assault causing bodily injury is a class A misdemeanor.
In Texas, class A misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to one year in jail. In addition, a fine of no more than $4,000 is possible.
In certain situations, assault causing bodily injury is a felony. For example, if the crime is committed against a public servant or against certain family members, the offender may be charged with a felony. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanor charges. Those convicted of felonies face severe penalties.
Defenses to assault with bodily injury charges
When you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to raise defenses that result in a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
Self-defense is one of the most commonly cited defenses in an assault claim. You must show that you reasonably believed whatever force you used was necessary to protect yourself.
In addition, many individuals find themselves wrongly accused of assault. Perhaps a fight broke out in a large group and a witness mistakenly accused someone of punching a victim. In these cases, the burden is on the state to prove that the individual arrested for assault did actually commit the crime.
Your attorney will study the facts of your claim and help you build a strong defense where possible. Your attorney will gather evidence supporting your claims and will force the state to prove every element of the crime.
If you have been arrested, contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group today
If you have been charged with assault in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Brian Eppes and Jeff Hampton are former prosecutors who know exactly what the state must prove in a case. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.