All criminal charges should be taken seriously. When a Texas resident is alleged to have committed a crime, they can be thrown into a world of unfamiliar processes, terms, and deadlines. It can benefit an individual and their family to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer whenever a new charge is alleged.
One serious criminal charge that Texans can face assault. This legal blog will examine what assault is under the law and defenses that may serve to protect the rights of those charged with it. Specific questions about assault should be asked of criminal lawyers who are familiar with their clients’ cases.
First, individuals should know that an assault does not have to involve physical conduct. An assault can occur if a person knowingly or intentionally threatens another person with imminent bodily injury. Imminent bodily injury is an immediate injury and one that apparently will happen quickly.
Second, at the heart of assault charges is the mindset of the alleged criminal. To be charged with assault, a person must knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly commit the physical acts of assault. Assaults are not accidents. A person cannot inadvertently assault someone because an assault is either an intended act or one committed without regard for the safety of others.
Third, assaults do not have to involve serious threats or actions of violence. In Texas, an assault can occur if a person commits a physical act against another person that they should reasonably believe will be offensive or provocative to the other person. As readers can see, the traditional picture of an assault as an act of physical violence is only one way a person can be charged under the laws of Texas.
Defending assault charges
Because there are so many ways that assaults can be alleged, there are many ways for individuals to defend themselves. One way a person may be able to avoid conviction on an assault charge is to show that they did not have the required mindset to commit the crime. As mentioned, assaults are not unintentional or accidental. Without the intention, knowledge, or recklessness required under the statute, a person may not be convicted of assault.
Similarly, a person may have a defense to an alleged assault through Texas’ self-defense laws. When under threat, a person may use some level of force to prevent injury to themselves or innocent third parties. An attorney can explain this defense option to their client.
Assaults are serious and can result in serious charges. However, individuals can find defense strategies to support their cases. They have rights under the law and can exercise them when defending themselves from criminal charges.