Texas law enforcement takes assaults against anyone extremely seriously. There are heavy penalties and punishments for such crimes. To get the culprits behind bars, you need to hire a Houston assault lawyer. But the main question to answer is “when.” Assaults and batters are always traumatic for the victim. This is more intense when the assailant is known to the victim (as in domestic violence). In this article, you will get to know the right time to hire an assault attorney.
Not only the victims. The defense side should also seek help from an assault lawyer to defend themselves from serious charges.
Difference between Assault, Battery, and Aggravated Assault
Any type of intentional physical harm inflicted on one person by another can be categorized into three categories: battery, assault, and aggravated assault.
If there’s a physical attack or a threat (both verbal and physical), it would be considered either an assault or battery. If there’s a weapon used for the attack or assault was a serious one, then it’d be termed as aggravated assault.
Therefore, the seriousness of the crime matters when deciding whether the attack is an assault, battery, or aggravated assault.
In Texas, however, all of these three are lumped into one. Only in serious cases does the assault is upgraded to aggravated. Serious bodily injuries, sharp weapons, and an intention to kill signify that the assault was aggravated. But otherwise, it’s just assault for all purposes.
The weapon used in crimes is also taken into account. If there’s evidence of using objects like a machine gun, rifle, explosives, sharp knife, switchblade knife, brass knuckles, and then it will be considered a serious crime. But there should also be evidence of bodily injuries. Under Texas law, conditions like physical pain, illness after an assault, mental trauma, impairment, or damage to any organ are considered bodily injuries.
Sexual assaults, too, are termed serious crimes under the Texas judiciary system. Actions are immediate on any allegation of sexual assault or rape. The Texas Penal Code identifies any non-consensual or unwanted sexual contact as sexual assault. “Lack of consent” is also a primary factor in deciding such cases.
If physical evidence is absent, the case can be prosecuted based on the victim’s statement. Because of such rules, false accusations do exist.
Contact a Houston Assault Lawyer as soon as Possible
Whether you’re a victim of an assault or convicted of one, you need to contact an assault lawyer near you as soon as possible.
The first reason is these cases are considered a second-degree felony. If you’ve been prosecuted, then the authorities will be quick to take action against you. The punishment can be up to 20 years of imprisonment or up to $10,000 as fines. If the court adjudges the crime to be a first-degree felony, then the punishing will be more severe.
The more you delay responding to those allegations, the more stringent the judiciary will be on you.
If the allegations are made at a court in Texas, then you need to hire a Houston assault lawyer to defend yourself against those allegations.
Likewise, if you’re a victim, you, too, need to act as soon as possible. This is because there’s a chance of destruction of physical evidence, which results in delays more often than not.
According to a 2019 report by Statista, Texas is mid-range for aggravated assault rates per 100,000 inhabitants, with 263 crimes reported. Therefore, you can’t call Texas dangerous or safe. In contrast, Houston sees an increase in aggravated assaults and violent crimes. Whenever you get involved in such cases, you should seek help from a registered Houston assault lawyer.