If you are arrested on suspicion of committing assault, you need to secure competent legal aid as quickly as possible. Make no mistake, assault is a violent crime, and the charges you face are serious. Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. Whether police arrest you for grabbing another person in a bar fight, committing assault against a romantic partner, or engaging in an aggravated assault, without an experienced lawyer, you could be risking your reputation as well as your freedom.
The difference between misdemeanors and felonies
First, you need to understand the difference between the two crime classifications at the state level: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses punishable by up to a year in county jail. Felonies, however, are much more serious crimes that can result in lengthy incarceration in the state prison.
No matter if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have a criminal record. However, while a misdemeanor crime can sometimes be explained to employers or others, a felony conviction is a major blotch on your record that can hinder your occupational, educational, and other opportunities in life.
Misdemeanor assault charge penalties in Texas
According to Tex. Penal Code Ann. § § 12.21, 12.22, 12.23, depending on the type of misdemeanor assault, you face the following penalties:
- Class c — There is no jail time, but you face up to $500 in fines
- Class b — You may be sentenced up to 180 days and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
- Class a — For the most serious misdemeanor level assault, you may receive up to one year in jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines.
Do not be fooled into thinking misdemeanors are “no big deal.” A conviction will change your life, and doors will close as a result.
Felony assault charge penalties in Texas
The criminal justice system aims to deter violent offenders at all costs. These are the penalties for committing felony assault in the Lonestar State:
- Third degree — For committing third degree felony assault, you may be sentenced for between 2-10 years in the state prison. You may also face fines up to $10,000.
- Second degree — If you are found guilty of felony assault in the second degree, you will be sentenced to 2-20 years in the state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- First degree — Committing felony assault in the first degree is punishable by between 5-99 years in prison or life, as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
The penalties for felony assault are serious, but with the right assault defense lawyer in Kingwood, you may be able to reduce, or even eliminate the charges against you.
Contact an experienced Kingwood criminal defense attorney
For more than 20 years, the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams, has fought aggressively to protect Texans facing criminal prosecution. We guide you through every stage of the process from the investigation to court filings and court appearances. Contact our firm online or call 281-358-9111 to schedule your free initial consultation.