Assault – Criminal Defense Attorney Gilbert G. Garcia
A person commits assault if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes or threatens bodily injury to another. There are two classifications for assault crimes: assault and aggravated assault. Assault is a misdemeanor offense unless the victim is a public servant or a family member and the person charged has previously been convicted of assault. In these types of cases, the offense is classified as a felony.
A person commits and aggrevated assault offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes or threatens bodily injury to another. There are two classifications for assault crimes: assault and aggravated assault. Aggravated assault offenses occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly inflicts bodily injury upon another person and causes serious bodily injury to another or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault is a felony offense.
Assault Family Violence
Assault – Family Violence, also referred to as domestic violence, is physical, mental, or emotional that occurs within a family setting. Domestic abuse may occur between spouses, co-habitants, parents, children, and siblings. A family violence assault offense is usually classified as a misdemeanor. However, charges may be enhanced if the victim is a minor, if the victim sustained serious bodily injury, if the accused has a prior criminal record, or if the accused has prior family violence conviction or accusations. A conviction for a family violence assault will prohibit the person convicted from possessing a firearm for life.
Assault and Criminal Sentencing
Any person who is convicted of assault, aggravated assault, or family violence may be sentenced with jail or prison time, fines, probation, and community service. Additionally, the person may have to adhere to the terms of a court issued restraining order, order of protection and/or conditions of bond.
Abandoning or Endangering Child
Abandoning or Endangering a Child includes a wide-array of behavior. An individual can be detained, arrested and charged with Abandoning or Endangering a Child if any of the following conditions are met:
- If a person having care, custody or control of a child whom is younger than 15 years of age, the person intentionally abandons a child in any place that would expose the child to unreasonable risk of harm OR;
- If a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence (by act or omission), places a child younger than 15 years of age in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical/mental impairment.
Under the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 22.041 goes further and seeks to incorporate the War on Drug into presumptions of guilt. Under this section, a person places a child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical/mental impairment if:
- The person manufactured, possessed or introduced into one’s own body the controlled substance of methamphetamine in the “presence” of a child OR;
- That the controlled substance of methamphetamine was related to the proximity or accessibility to the child and that an analysis of the child’s blood/urine indicates the presence of methamphetamine OR;
- That the person was under the influence of an unlawfully obtained controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1 (Section 481.102 of the Health and Safety Code).
Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled
Abuse includes the following acts or omissions by any person:A. mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
- causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
- physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessors conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;
- failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child;
- sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code, sexual assault under Section 22.011, Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021, Penal Code;
- failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child;
- compelling or encouraging a child to engage in sexual conduct as defined by Section 43.01, Penal Code;
- causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene (as defined by the Penal Code) or pornographic;
- the current use by a person of a controlled substance as defined by chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, in a manner to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child, or
- causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code.
- causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child as defined by Section 43.25, Penal Code.
Source: Texas Family Code Section 261.001 / Source: Texas Penal Code Section 21.11,21.011,22.021,43.01, 43.25 / Source: Texas Health and Safety Code Ch. 481
Leaving a Child in a Vehicle
Sec. 22.10. LEAVING A CHILD IN A VEHICLE. A person commits an assault offense if s/he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is younger than seven years of age; and knowing that the child was not attended by an individual in the vehicle who was 14 years of age or older. Range of Punishment: An offense under this section is generally a Class C misdemeanor, however can escilate to a Felony charge if other circumstances are also present during the time of arrest.
Sec. 22.05. DEADLY CONDUCT. A person commits an offense if s/he recklessly engages in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.Under this offense, a person can also be charged with Deadly Conduct is s/he knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:(1) one or more individuals; or (2) a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied. Definitions: Recklessness and danger are presumed if the actor knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded. For purposes of this section, “building,” “habitation,” and “vehicle” have the meanings assigned those terms by Section 30.01. Range of Punishment Range: Depending on the exact facts and circumstances of the charge, the range of punishment can be between a Class A Misdemeanor and up to a third (3rd) degree felony.
Sec. 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to: (1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies; (2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; (3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place; (4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service; (5) place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or (6) influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state. (b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor. (c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense: (1) is committed against a member of the person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence; or (2) is committed against a public servant. (d) An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor causes pecuniary loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance, in which event the offense is a state jail felony. (e) An offense under Subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), or (a)(6) is a felony of the third degree. (f) In this section: (1) “Family” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003, Family Code. (2) “Family violence” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004, Family Code. (3) “Household” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.005, Family Code. (g) For purposes of Subsection (d), the amount of pecuniary loss is the amount of economic loss suffered by the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance as a result of the prevention or interruption of the occupation or use of the building, room, place, or conveyance.