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Houston Assault Attorneys

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     Assault cases are generally divided into family assault and regular assault.  Family charges are assaults between people who are dating, married, roommates, or family members.  Generally prosecutors treat family assault cases more seriously.  Any unwanted contact that results in pain or a mark can be charged as a Class A with up to a year in jail as a possible punishment.  Here's what you need to know immediately about assault cases: 

  1. Judges regularly impose a "no contact" order as a condition of bond.  If you text, call, or have any communication with the person listed as the victim in your case you can wind up back in jail with an additional Class A Misdemeanor charge called Violation of a Protective Order or Bond Condition.                                                                                                                      

  2. The State is going to call the person listed as the victim and ask if they want to prosecute the case.  If they say "no" then the case gets transferred to a division full of specialized prosecutors that take a closer look.  The State regularly prosecutes cases against the wishes of the victim.  ​                                                                                                                              

  3. A Protective Order and Bond Conditions can kick you out of your own home and prevent you from seeing your spouse and children.  We can help ask for these orders to be removed.

Assault Family Member

Class A Misdemeanor

Some of the most difficult cases to defend are Assault Family Member cases.  This is because the prosecutors often pursue cases even after the victim has "dropped the charges."  In order to prove that someone has been assaulted, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to the person listed as the victim.  Bodily injury means any physical pain or impairment of physical condition.  A scratch on the arm or a red mark on the leg could lead to a conviction for Assault.  If you are convicted or plead guilty to deferred adjudication probation then a second charge of Assault Family Member can be enhanced to a third degree felony.


0-365 days in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.


Class A Misdemeanor

If you cause physical pain or a mark like a scratch or a bruise to someone and they are not a family member they simply call this charge Assault.  A conviction for Assault, unlike Assault family member  does not carry any firearms ban consequences.  However it can carry up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.  Some of the most common defenses to an Assault charge are Self-Defense and mutual combat.  "The victim's effective consent or the actor's reasonable belief that the victim consented to the actor's conduct is a defense to prosecution." 22.06 Texas Penal Code

PUNISHMENT RANGE: Class A 0-365 days in jail and up to a $4000 fine if over .15 alcohol level. 

Protective Orders and Bond Conditions

A protective order is a document signed by a Judge that can kick you out of your own home and prevent you from speaking with your spouse or children.  These orders are usually effective for 61 days.  However, the judge can also impose "bond conditions."  Bond conditions are a set of rules that the Judge requires you to follow with the consequence of further jail time or new criminal charges being filed for any violation.  A bond condition lasts for the entirety of the life of the case and not just the first 61-91 days after the assault like a protective order.

Assault Family Member Second Offense

Third Degree Felony

If you have been previously convicted of an offense of Assault that involved family violence then any future offense involving bodily injury to a family member, roommate, or person you're dating, is automatically a third degree felony.  Felony Assault Family Member charges typically come with strict bond conditions.  You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.   

PUNISHMENT RANGE: Third Degree Felony 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. 

Aggravated Assault and

Assault Strangulation

Aggravated Assault is a serious charge that is typically a second degree felony.  Aggravated Assault - Deadly Weapon is when a firearm or other deadly weapon is used to threaten or cause bodily injury to another person.  Aggravated Assault Serious Bodily Injury is when significant injury results from an assault causing protracted loss of physical condition or permanent disfigurement.  Both of these charges are classified as "3G" offenses which means that any prison sentence given to a person convicted of Aggravated Assault requires that at least half of the prison sentence be served before you may become eligible for parole.   Assault Strangulation cases may only be charged between family members and are classified as a third degree felony.  A strangulation between non-family members may be charged as Aggravated Assault if it can be proved that the defendant's hands or other instrument were used as a deadly weapon.  PUNISHMENT RANGE: Second Degree Felony 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.


Self-defense is an affirmative defense to prosecution for Assault.  "[A] person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force." Texas Penal Code Section 9.31.  This means that if you reasonably believe someone is going to hit you, you can hit them to prevent it.  Most Assault cases have some aspect of self-defense involved.  Call us now to see the strength of your case.  PUNISHMENT RANGE: Third Degree Felony - Intox. Assault  2-10 years prison and up to a $10,000 fine.  Second Degree Felony - Intox. Manslaughter 2-20 years prison and up to a $10,000 fine. 

Did you know this about Assault?

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Dropping the Charges

The State can continue to prosecute you and try to put you in jail even after receiving an affidavit from the victim asking to "drop the charges."  
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