Like most states, Texas takes assault crimes seriously. Consequences for an assault conviction often carry time behind bars and costly fines, among other restrictions on your future and your freedom. However, if it is found that the assault was committed against a police officer who was performing their assigned duties, the severity of the crime and the corresponding punishment increases. If you or someone you love has been charged with assaulting a police officer in Texas, here are a few key things you should know.
Some Quick Definitions
According to Texas penal code 22.01, assault occurs when a person “intentionally knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another” or threatens another person with imminent bodily injury. In many cases, assault is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, but the charge elevates when the assault is committed against a public servant who is actively and lawfully performing their assigned duties. In these instances, the charge can be raised to a felony in the third degree, which carries the potential of spending between two to ten years in prison and paying up to $10,000 in fines if convicted.
What if You Acted in Self-Defense?
Altercations with law enforcement officers can quickly escalate and become heated. Some people may believe that their lives or safety are in danger when interacting with the police, so they may use physical force to defend themselves. While Texas law allows certain actions to be taken in the name of self-defense against another’s use of unlawful force, the actions taken must be proportional and reasonable in comparison to the actions taken by another. If a police officer was using excessive force, sufficient evidence will be required in order to demonstrate that the alleged assault was an action of self-defense.
Protecting Your Future
The consequences of an assault conviction extend far beyond prison time and fines. With a felony offense on your criminal record, you’ll likely encounter barriers to employment, housing, and your parental rights, not to mention your reputation. As soon as you have been placed under arrest for any assault crime, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can get to work protecting your future. The sooner you take action, the more time you and your attorney will have to examine the specifics of your case and prepare a strong legal strategy.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with an assault crime, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 as soon as possible to arrange a free consultation with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.