Assault is a wide-ranging criminal charge that can result from incidents as seemingly minor as a contentious conversation and could extend to actual physical contact. The charge is often coupled with battery concept when an outright attack is also part of the material evidence being used to prosecute the case.
While words alone do not result in an assault charge, factors such as intimidation can still apply as evidence.
Cases can be confusing, and very often the version of events between the parties involved do not match. A perceived victim who is not harmed physically can still overstate the claim.
There are two primary types of assault that can be confusing for defendants when charges are filed. All assault charges are criminal matters that will require representation from an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney because a conviction could also result in a jail term based on the nature of the charge.
This is not typically how a low-level assault case is adjudicated, but incarceration is often a component of punishment for a conviction unless the case can be effectively plea bargained.
Having an attorney like the legal professionals at the Law Office of John Venza is vital for a successful outcome based on the actual case factors because embellished claims of victims can impact sentencing.
Heated discussions are usually not a serious enough case factor to result in an assault charge on its own merit. Many people say things that they have no intention of carrying out. However, intimidation can complicate the incident when any action is committed by an involved party that creates fear in the potential victim.
This claim, too, can be a generic unsubstantiated claim from the victim, and often cannot be effectively addressed until the claimant is in court where they can be cross-examined.
Stated fear with no physical attack can be the basis for a simple assault charge, but an aggressive criminal defense attorney can stress the lack of evidence when discussing the case with all parties in hopes of a reasonable settlement.
Simple assault charges are classified as misdemeanors, and convictions often result in a significant fine with no incarceration. Deferred judgments can also be arranged in certain cases when evidence is particularly weak, and there could be an ongoing concern for additional interaction.
Aggravated Assault and Battery
Any unwanted aggressive touching could be considered battery to a small degree, but the charge in the classic sense typically requires an obvious physical attack with supporting evidence of injury.
However, the Texas Penal Code does not refer to this charge as battery and instead terms it as aggravated assault. This covers a wider scope of actions between victims and assailants, and it gives the court latitude in assigning punishment in association with material case evidence.
Aggravated assault can be classified as high as a 1st Degree felony when a victim has been seriously injured, and could even result in life in prison in certain egregious cases. It always takes aggressive legal representation when the prosecutor wants extensive punishment, and having the right criminal defense attorney is vital even when certain evidence can be questioned.
Extenuating Civil Cases
One particular problem with an aggravated assault charge is the potential for a personal injury lawsuit following the fact. This can be a complicated legal issue because criminal and civil standards for proving a claim are different. Criminal convictions are determined by the reasonable doubt standard, but civil cases such as personal injury claims are determined according to a preponderance of the evidence-based on a totality of the circumstances.
The preponderance standard is much lower than the reasonable doubt standard, meaning that a personal injury lawsuit can still apply even when a conviction is not achieved by the prosecution. This spells a dual legal problem for the accused, and it is also a common reason for filing criminal charges. It also means it is crucial to have a diligent criminal defense attorney even in a simple assault case who can lessen the impact of the criminal charge as much as possible.
Mental anguish can be a component of an injury case, often based on the testimony of the plaintiff, and many times the evidence is not as serious as being claimed.
Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
Even a simple assault conviction can create a problem for the accused after the fact because it carries a behavioral stigma as well as generating an unwanted criminal history. Cases filed on borderline evidence require strong defense, just like obviously serious cases.
Call the Law Office of John Venza today (281) 817-8737 to learn more about what our team can do to protect your rights.