JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T PLAN ON GETTING ARRESTED, doesn't mean you can't plan your defense
McKinney Assault and Aggravated Assault Lawyer
A Former Prosecutor with 16 Years of Legal Experience to Defend You in Collin County, Plano, and Frisco
Facing assault charges in McKinney or the surrounding area? The Law Office of Chris Fredericks can defend you against harsh accusations and build a case for mitigated or dismissed charges. Attorney Chris Fredericks has been defending clients for 16 years, and he also brings unique experience as a former prosecutor with the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. As a result, he knows the prosecution’s game plan; he can strategize a strong defense in anticipation of the state’s case against you before you even go to court. Whether you face assault or aggravated assault charges, trust the Law Office of Chris Fredericks to defend you.
Simple Assault Charges
Simple assault is a violent offense that occurs when someone:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes, or threatens to cause, bodily injury to another person; or
- intentionally or knowingly engages in provocative or offensive physical contact with another.
Simple assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of harm inflicted and the defendant’s criminal history. An offense is a misdemeanor if it involves offensive contact or threats of physical harm. The sentencing for misdemeanor assault is as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor (most cases) – up to $500 in fines
- Class B misdemeanor (alleged victim is a sports official or participant during a sporting event) – up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines
- Class A misdemeanor (assault resulting in bodily injury or the alleged victim is elderly or disabled) – up to 1 year in jail and $4,000 in fines
A simple assault that results in bodily injury will rise from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony if the defendant knows the other person is performing their job duties as a:
- public servant;
- government employee or contractor at a correctional or rehab facility;
- security officer; or
- emergency services personnel (e.g., EMT, firefighter).
A person may also be charged with a third-degree felony if they inflict bodily injury to a pregnant person or commit repeated acts of domestic assault. Third-degree felonies are punishable by 2-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If a person assaults and causes injury to a police officer or judge in response to their official duties, they will be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison.
Assault that involves serious bodily injury, however, is a more severe crime of aggravated assault. Texas law defines “serious bodily injury” as injury that creates substantial risk of death or that causes death, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
So, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to another person; or
- use or exhibit a deadly weapon while committing any assault crime, including threatening bodily injury or engaging in offensive conduct.
Aggravated assault can result in first-degree or second-degree felony penalties. First-degree penalties include 5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, and second-degree penalties include 2-20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Typically, an offense will be charged as a second-degree felony. However, it will be elevated to a first-degree felony if:
- the offender uses a deadly weapon in committing domestic assault and causes serious bodily injury to the other person;
- the aggravated assault is committed by a public servant, such as a state worker or city counselor acting in their official capacity;
- the offender commits an aggravated assault knowingly against a public servant or security officer;
- the offender commits aggravated assault in retaliation against a witness, informant, or a person who reported a crime; or
- the offender shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle at a house, building, or motor vehicle with reckless disregard for whether it is occupied and causes serious bodily injury to another.
Some offenders, usually first offenders, may be eligible for alternative sentences instead of incarceration. If a first offender pleads guilty to simple assault, for instance, the court may grant a deferred adjudication, in which they will postpone sentencing for a period on the condition that the defendant complies with probation and other requirements, such as:
- no new arrests or criminal offenses during the conditional period;
- paying restitution;
- doing volunteer work in the community.
If the defendant satisfies all the court's requirements, the court will discharge them and dismiss the case. If the defendant fails to satisfy the requirements, the court will impose a sentence and enter a conviction.
If a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the court can grant probation instead of jail or prison time for up to 2 years for a misdemeanor and up to 10 years for a felony. The defendant may be required to serve some time in jail or prison before beginning probation (30 days for a misdemeanor and 180 days for a felony). The court may require a person on probation to:
- meet with a probation officer;
- pay probation costs;
- attend treatment;
- maintain employment;
- abide by curfews;
- avoid further criminal activity or arrests.
Note that a judge may only authorize probation for offenders sentenced for misdemeanors or felonies punishable by less than 10 years of incarceration. Probation is not an option if the offender used or displayed a deadly weapon in the offense.
If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault in Texas, contact the Law Office of Chris Fredericks for legal representation immediately. We will do our best to argue for lighter sentencing alternatives or even a complete dismissal of your case.
Contact us online for a free consultation to get started.