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Did you know that assault is one of the most often committed crimes in the U.S.? In fact, even here in Texas, assault charges have increased in recent years. A serious charge, assault can have far reaching consequences beyond the initial fines and other penalties you may incur if your assault charge becomes an assault conviction landing on your criminal record. Fortunately, there are a number of solid defenses strategies that can be employed to help you avoid criminal liability for assault.

Defenses to an Assault Charge

Most people operate under the mistaken belief that an assault involves hitting or physically hurting someone. While this is sometimes true, it is also true that you do not even need to make physical contact with someone to still be convicted of assault. This is because threatening someone can also rise to the level as to constitute assault.

Texas law defines simple assault as when a person:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, 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.

You see, under Texas law, physical contact that intentionally causes another person bodily harm or provokes the other person can be considered also. Threatening another person with imminent bodily injury, however, can also constitute assault, no contact with the other person needed. Simple assault is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, but it can rise to a third degree felony if the victim of the assault is a public servant or government worker, or the incident involved domestic violence.

The type of defense employed against an assault charge, or any criminal charge for that matter, will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. There are, however, a few different defenses that are commonly employed in incidences of assault charges. By far, the most common defense to an assault charge is self-defense. For the self-defense assertion to be effective in negating the criminal assault charge, however, you need to be able to show that you were acting under threat of harm and had a real fear of imminent harm. You must also be able to show that you were not the first one to provoke or harm anyone during the incident and that you had no other way to avoid the situation.

Another common defense to an assault charge is that you were protecting another person under threat of imminent harm. This is like self-defense, but is defense of others instead. One last common defense to an assault charge is that the victim had actually proved their consent to the assault.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

Are you facing a Texas assault charge? Reach out to the family law team at Navarrete & Schwartz for assistance. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.