Assault Defense Lawyer in San Antonio, Stephen Bowling

If you have been charged with assault in San Antonio, you are facing a serious criminal offense. The implications of a conviction can extend far beyond the courtroom, affecting your employment, housing, and personal relationships. Nevertheless, a good understanding of the law, the range of charges, and the potential defenses can help you achieve the best outcome for your case. 

In this blog post, we discuss how you can reduce punishment for an assault charge, emphasizing the importance of being represented by a skilled assault defense lawyer in San Antonio

What Constitutes Assault in San Antonio, TX?

In San Antonio, Texas, assault charges encompass a range of actions defined under Texas Penal Code §22.01. An assault can involve 

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another 
  • Threatening someone with imminent bodily injury; or 
  • Engaging in physical contact is perceived as provocative or offensive. 

The law’s broad definition means that actions from a heated argument leading to physical contact to more severe physical attacks can all fall under the umbrella of assault.

What are the Lowest and Highest Forms of Assault in Texas?

In Texas, assault charges range from the lowest form, a Class C misdemeanor, involving minor incidents without physical harm, to the highest form, first-degree felony assault, which includes serious offenses with severe consequences. 

The severity of an assault charge depends on the circumstances involved in the incident, e.g. whether there was actual physical harm or if there was a weapon involved. Here is a brief survey of the range of assault charges in Texas and their associated penalties:

  • Class C Misdemeanor: Involving threats or offensive contact without physical harm. The penalties can include a fine of up to $500.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Involving physical contact that causes pain or injury; penalties can include up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: This category covers more serious bodily injury, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
  • Felony Assault: An assault charge escalates to a felony when it involves a weapon, results in serious bodily injury, or is against a public servant, family member with previous convictions, or in other specified circumstances. The Penalties can range from 2 years to life in prison, depending on the degree of the felony.

The wide range of potential legal implications of an assault charge underscores the importance of understanding where a particular charge falls within the severity spectrum in Texas.

How Does a Prosecutor Prove Assault?

To prove assault in court, the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  1. Acted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and 
  2. Caused bodily injury to another, made a threat of harm, or engaged in physical contact that could reasonably be perceived as provocative or offensive. 

While the specific nature of the evidence required can vary significantly based on the assault’s context and severity, proving assault will typically require the prosecutor to present evidence such as:

  • Eyewitness testimonies 
  • Medical records to prove injuries; and 
  • Any available video footage that captures the incident

Possible Defenses to an Assault Charge in Texas

Defending against an assault charge in Texas can involve several strategies, depending on the specifics of the case. Common defenses include:

  • Self-Defense: Arguing that the act was necessary to protect yourself from immediate harm, supported by evidence of the perceived threat.
  • Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, but the action was taken to protect another person from imminent danger.
  • Consent: Demonstrating that the alleged victim consented to the conduct, particularly relevant in contexts where physical contact is expected.
  • Lack of Intent: Showing the absence of intention to harm, which is crucial for certain assault charges requiring specific intent.
  • Alibi or Mistaken Identity: Providing evidence that you were not present at the time and location of the alleged assault, or you were wrongly identified.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Demonstrating that the prosecution lacks the evidence needed to meet their burden of proof can also be an effective defense against an assault charge. 

Each defense strategy must be tailored to the unique circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, highlighting the importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney to present the defenses effectively in court.

Can an Assault Charge Be Reduced in Texas?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, several strategies might be employed to reduce punishment for an assault charge. These strategies may include:

  1. Plea Bargaining: You and your San Antonio assault defense lawyer may negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor, where you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
  2. Mitigating Factors: Your attorney may present factors such as your lack of prior criminal history, the circumstances leading to the assault, and evidence of your remorse, which can influence negotiations.
  3. Diversion Programs: If you are a first-time offender, you may have options like anger management courses or community service as alternatives to traditional sentencing.
  4. Judicial Discretion: You may encourage the judge to consider various factors in your sentencing, potentially reducing the charges based on the specifics of your case. Often, demonstrating a commitment to rehabilitation through counseling or anger management programs can sometimes persuade the court to lessen the penalties.

With the right assault defense lawyer, San Antonio defendants stand the best chance of successfully reducing an assault charge, meaning lesser penalties and less of an impact on their future.

If you are facing an assault charge in San Antonio, it may be possible for you and your defense lawyer to employ strategies to potentially reduce the punishment you face if convicted. For the best outcome, this will require skilled legal advocacy, in-depth knowledge of the local laws, negotiation skills, and a deep understanding of the Texas criminal justice system that only an experienced attorney possesses.  We would welcome an opportunity to help, call us today at 210-404-4444, or schedule a free consultation here.

Austin Office
816 Congress Ave, Suite 950
Austin, Texas 78701

San Antonio Office
700 N St Mary’s St, Suite 1457
San Antonio, Texas 78205