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Have an Assault Charge? Here’s Why You Need an Assault Lawyer!

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

In 2015, more native-born Americans were arrested and convicted of crimes than illegal immigrants. In 2016, Texas convicted 2,116 out of every 100,000 American natives.

If you are arrested and convicted of an assault charge, you may be fined between $500 to $10,000 or more. You may also be sentenced to jail time of up to life in prison. For that reason, it is important to hire an assault lawyer as soon after your arrest as possible.

When You Are Arrested

During the arrest, it is important to be polite and cooperative with the police, but do not talk to them or answer questions. Do not answer questions or volunteer information without an attorney present. Anything you say will be used against you in court.

Use your phone call to contact someone who can 1) bail you out of jail, 2) make arrangements with a bail bondsman if needed, and 3) help secure an attorney on your behalf if you are unable to post bond.

Within 48 hours after your arrest, you will appear before a magistrate or judge. The criminal charges will be read and the amount of bail will be set. You will also be advised of your next court appearance.

Hire an Assault Lawyer

The faster you hire an attorney after your arrest, the more time they will have to prepare your case. If you are unable to afford an attorney, the United States Constitution requires that one be appointed to represent you.

Texas has a recoupment program. This means that defendants may be asked to reimburse the government all or part of the cost of their court-appointed lawyer. In 2016, Texas counties recouped over $11 million from defendants.

If there is any way you can afford to hire your own assault lawyer, that is the better alternative. That way, you know what your fees are in advance and won’t have surprise bills arriving in the mail, sometimes years later.

What an Assault Lawyer Will Do

The first meeting with your attorney will be an interview. They will ask you questions about yourself, employment, family life, and if you have any prior criminal charges. It is important to answer all questions honestly.

Your attorney needs to know everything that could possibly be used against you in court. This allows them to prepare rather than be caught off-guard when the prosecutor springs information on them.

The attorney will question you about the alleged incident. They will want your version of the event. They also try to determine what evidence the prosecutor may have against you.

The attorney will work on a defense strategy. They will speak with the prosecutor and try to resolve the matter outside of trial. The lawyer will attend court with you and speak to the judge on your behalf.

Why You Should Not Represent Yourself

There are numerous reasons not to attempt self-representation in a criminal case. You are going to be arguing your case against a prosecutor trained in law. They know the rules of the court, how to obtain and present evidence, how to subpoena witnesses, and hire experts.

To effectively self-represent, you need to understand criminal law. You need to know and follow the rules of the court, properly subpoena witnesses, and correctly request and provide discovery. If you fail to meet court deadlines and filing requirements, it can jeopardize your case.

When trying to negotiate your case, you will be talking to the same person who wants to convict you of a crime. Anything you say to the prosecutor will be used against you to prove their case.

Understanding Assault Charges

An assault is an attempt or threat that makes another person fear being harmed. Many times, a person is charged with assault and battery. Battery is the actual physical attack on another person, usually causing injury.

The Texas Penal Code, Sec. 22.01 sets forth the elements of assault charges. Depending on the severity of the crime and whether or not you have prior assaults, this will determine how you are charged.

Misdemeanor Charges

There are three levels of misdemeanor charges, plus felony charges, for assault.

A Class C misdemeanor means you have threatened someone with bodily harm or caused offensive physical contact. This is the least serious of assault charges. There is no jail time, but there can be a fine of up to $500.

A Class B misdemeanor is charged when the assault is against someone who is participating in sports as related to their performance. If you are charged with a Class B misdemeanor, you can be sentenced to 180 days in county jail and fined up to $2,000.

The most serious charge is a Class A misdemeanor. In this offense, bodily injury is done to someone or there is offensive physical contact with an elderly person. If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

If the Class A misdemeanor crime is committed because of bias or prejudice, there is a mandatory minimum jail term of 180 days.

Felony Charges

There are three levels of felony charges for assault. In addition to those listed below, you may be charged with aggravated assault if the victim suffered a serious injury or a weapon was used in the attack.

A third-degree felony is an assault against a family member, a member of your household, or someone with whom you have a dating relationship. It can also be against someone who is in a protected status.

You can also be charged with a third-degree felony if you cause serious bodily injury to another person while you are intoxicated. If convicted, you can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $10,000.

A second-degree felony is an assault on a family member or someone you reside with or a person you have a dating relationship with. It is designated a second degree if the attack includes choking or if you were previously charged with an assault against the same person.

You will be charged with a first-degree felony if you make an aggravated assault against a domestic partner or another person in a protected status. If you are convicted, you will be sentenced to 5 years up to life in prison, plus fined in an amount set by the judge.

Get the Best Defense Possible

The risk to your freedom and the cost of fines are the reason an assault lawyer is necessary when you have been charged with an assault crime. You need someone who can navigate the legal system and present the best defense for you.

Contact The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski to discuss your criminal defense.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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