It’s natural to feel disoriented and fearful following an arrest, regardless of the alleged crime. Suddenly, you face an uncertain future and wonder how this incident will affect you, your loved ones, and your life. While misdemeanor offenses in Texas carry weighty penalties, felony charges can dramatically alter the course of your life. If you’ve been arrested and charged with third-degree felony assault in the Houston, Pearland, or Brazoria County area, contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer right away and consider taking the following actions.
Understand What Third-Degree Felony Assault Charges Are
There are varying types and degrees of assaultive offenses under Texas law. Title 5, Section 22.01 of the Texas penal code defines assault as “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caus[ing] bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse.” Most offenses under this definition are considered Class A misdemeanors, but they elevate to a third-degree felony when committed against a specific type of victim. For instance, causing harm to a public servant, security officer, emergency services personnel, or choking a family member, or having a prior conviction for family violence can result in third-degree felony assault charges.
Prepare For Potential Consequences
In Texas, the maximum penalty for a third-degree felony offense is a 2 to 10-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. As soon as you’re arrested, you may jump immediately to the worst-case outcome. Before you panic and assume your life will never be the same again, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is your best bet at having the charges and penalties reduced.
Remain Silent and Contact a Defense Attorney
Many people charged with assault feel the need to explain themselves—perhaps an argument got out of hand, or the whole incident was a giant misunderstanding. However, it’s always in your best interest to refrain from speaking any more than necessary. Law enforcement officers may attempt to coax you into telling “your side of the story,” but they often use your words against you later on to strengthen the prosecution’s case. Instead, avoid talking about the incident until you’ve spoken to your attorney. Together, you can develop a solid legal strategy for defending your rights and your future.
Contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today by calling (832) 230-0075 to arrange a free consultation with a dedicated Pearland criminal defense lawyer.