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An assault charge is not something to be taken lightly. In Texas, aggravated assault is considered a felony and comes with severe punishment such as high fines and prison time. When charged with assault, it’s crucial to seek out a qualified and experienced attorney to defend your case and help you come up with a strategy that will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.
In this article, we’ll break down Texas assault laws, and what you should look for in an attorney to help you navigate your charges moving forward.
Assault Laws in Houston, Texas
In Texas, aggravated assault is when someone knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person. This includes excessive force or use of a deadly weapon during the assault. Serious bodily injury is classified as an injury that creates a substantial risk of permanent damage, impairment of any body part, or risk of death.
Texas classifies aggravated assault as a second-degree felony, and it carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If a deadly weapon is used in the assault or involves family violence, domestic violence, or violence against a public official, it becomes a first-degree felony. First degree felonies come with a sentence of 5 to 99 years in state prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, being convicted of aggravated assault will affect your personal life, employment, and the ability to hold personal or professional licensure, including the ability to own a firearm.
Finding the Right Houston Criminal Lawyer for Assault Charges
The first thing you should do if you’ve been arrested with an assault crime is to contact an attorney. Even though it may be a while until you appear in court, there is plenty to do in the meantime. An attorney can look into your case and advise you on things you can do now that may help your situation once it’s time to appear in front of a judge.
It might feel overwhelming when it comes to choosing an attorney because there are so many to choose from, all of whom want to work with you. There are a few things to consider that can help you pick an attorney that is a good fit for you and your situation.
Book a consultation
The majority of a criminal defense lawyer will offer a free consultation to meet with you and learn more about your case. It’s smart to meet with a potential attorney in person to see if you get along, and ask specific questions about your case. It’s important that you work with an attorney you can trust, and that understands you since you will be working closely together to determine your future.
When meeting with a potential attorney, make sure you bring all of your documentation, and information about your charge, as well as questions you have about the legal process moving forward. There’s no such thing as a stupid question when dealing with the legal system. So don’t be afraid to ask the attorney anything you want to know. They will do their best to answer your questions honestly and objectively to give you a realistic vision of what to expect.
Since every state’s laws are different, make sure that the attorney you’re consulting with has experience in the area you’ve been charged. Having local knowledge also means they will know the people involved in the legal system in that area, and they will be able to inform you about the specific processes in your region. Local attorneys may also have contacts that could help make the process go more smoothly.
Areas of expertise
In addition to having local knowledge, the attorney you choose should also have experience handling assault cases like yours. Even if they have decades of law experience, they should have experience handling the specific types of crimes you have been charged with. Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience with cases like yours and what outcomes you can expect based on previous cases they have handled.
These tips are intended to give you some clarity on what to look for in an attorney, but should not replace real legal advice. The only way to know if an attorney is the right choice for you is to meet them, ask the right questions, and determine for yourself if it is a good fit.
If you’ve been charged with an assault crime in Houston, Christopher T. Gore is an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney that wants to help. Contact our office or learn more about how he can help defend your case.