Assault is often a misdemeanor offense in Texas, but certain aggravating factors can lead to alleged offenders facing felony charges. Assault becomes a felony offense when the alleged victim is a member of a certain protected class of individuals or is a family or household member when the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a crime of family violence.
When an assault allegation is classified as a felony, a prosecutor can feel more inclined to pursue a sentence of lengthy incarceration for the alleged offender. No two cases are the same, however, and many people accused of felonious assault actually have perfectly valid claims relating to self-defense that can justify their alleged behavior.
Lawyer for Felony Assault Arrests in Fort Worth, TX
Were you recently arrested in the greater DFW area for an alleged felony assault? Do not say anything to authorities until you have first contacted Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC.
Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC represent clients all over Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County who have been accused of crimes of violence, including such communities as Arlington, Fort Worth, Cleburne, Weatherford, and many others. You can have our lawyers provide qa complete evaluation of you case when you call (817) 502-3600 to receive a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Felony Assault Crimes in Tarrant County
- How does an assault become a felony offense?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of or pleading guilty to felony assault?
- Where can I learn more about felony assault in Fort Worth?
Felony Assault Charges in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a) establishes that a person commits the crime of assault if he or she:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
While intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person is usually a Class A misdemeanor, this offense can become a third-degree felony under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b) if the alleged offense is committed against any of the following:
- A person the alleged offender knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant;
- A person whose relationship to or association with the alleged offender is a dating relationship, family, or household member, if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of an assaultive offense, criminal homicide, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, or continuous violence against the family against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is a dating relationship, family, or household member, or the alleged offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth;
- A person who contracts with government to perform a service in a facility as defined by Texas Penal Code § 1.07(a)(14), or Texas Family Code § 51.02(13) or (14), or an employee of that person while the person or employee is engaged in performing a service within the scope of the contract, if the alleged offender knows the person or employee is authorized by government to provide the service, or in retaliation for or on account of the person’s or employee’s performance of a service within the scope of the contract;
- A person the alleged offender knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
- A person the alleged offender knows is emergency services personnel while the person is providing emergency services.
Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b-1) further states that intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person—including the alleged offender’s spouse—is a second-degree felony if:
- The offense is committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is dating relationship, family, or household member;
- The alleged offender has been previously convicted of an assaultive offense, criminal homicide, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, or continuous violence against the family against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is a dating relationship, family, or household member; and
- The alleged offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.
Tarrant County Felony Assault Penalties
Third-degree felony assault convictions are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000. A second-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
Prison and fines are far from being the only consequences that people convicted of felony assault can face. Some of the additional collateral consequences of a felony conviction can include:
- Ineligibility for certain state positions;
- Loss, suspension, or revocation of, or ineligibility for a professional license;
- Mandatory participation in Batterer’s Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP); and/or
- Prohibited from possessing firearms.
Additionally, felony assault convictions relating to family violence cannot be expunged or sealed, so the offenses remain on an alleged offender’s criminal record for the remainder of his or her life.
Texas Resources for Felony Assault Offenses
Violence Prevention and Education | The Women’s Center of Tarrant County — The Women’s Center of Tarrant County is a nonprofit organization with the mission of inspiring, teaching, and empowering women and families to overcome violence, crisis, and poverty. On this section of the organization’s website, you can learn more about services the Women’s Center offers relating to violence prevention and education. Learn more about the organization’s Play it Safe! Program as well as professional and adult education.
The Women’s Center
Fort Worth, TX 76110
State v. Marquez, 281 S.W.3d 56, 60 (Tex.App.–El Paso 2008) — On November 25, 2004, two police officers received a dispatch to proceed to an apartment complex regarding an family violence call relating to assault. One officer testified that as the two officers approached the complex, he saw Oscar Marquez toss an item to the ground that he later determined to be a beer bottle. In response to a question about his age, Marquez stated that he was 18 and the officer placed Marquez under arrest for littering and for consumption of alcohol by a minor. A struggle ensued and an indictment was handed down on December 22 of that same year charging Marquez with the offense of assault on a public servant. Following two hearings regarding Marquez’s motion to suppress the evidence, the court signed a written order granting Marquez’s motion to suppress, stating that the court determined that the officer who testified lacked credibility in this case and, therefore, the court found that there was no probable cause to support Marquez’s arrest. On March 27, 2008, the Eighth Court of Appeals reversed in part the court’s order, to the extent that it suppresses the evidence of the alleged assault upon the police officer, but affirmed the order to the extent that it suppresses the evidence of the initial arrest.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC |Fort Worth Felony Assault Defense Attorney
If you were arrested for an alleged felonious assault anywhere in the DFW area, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC defends individuals in Cleburne, Fort Worth, Weatherford, Arlington, and many other surrounding areas of Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who will work tirelessly to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (817) 502-3600 or fill out an online form to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.