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07 Oct 23

What are the Defenses for Assault Charges in Fort Worth?

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Last Updated on: 28th October 2023, 11:26 pm

What are the Defenses for Assault Charges in Fort Worth?

An assault charge in Fort Worth can be scary. You may feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn. But having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference. This article will walk through some of the most common defenses used in Fort Worth assault cases, and provide guidance on next steps if you are facing charges.

Understanding Assault Charges in Texas

In Texas, assault charges cover both threats of violence and actual physical harm. The state groups assault and battery offenses into a single criminal charge called “assault”1.

There are many different levels of assault charges in Texas, with penalties ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Some factors that can increase the severity of an assault charge include:

  • Use of a deadly weapon
  • Injury to a public servant
  • Injury to a family member
  • Prior conviction for assault

Domestic violence and assault family violence charges are common subsets of assault that refer to violence against a spouse, former spouse, dating partner, family member, or member of the same household 4.

The stakes are high with any assault charge. A conviction can result in jail time, fines, probation, anger management classes, and other penalties. It also leads to a permanent criminal record that can impact future employment, housing, and other opportunities.

Common Defenses for Assault Charges

When facing criminal charges, the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As the accused, you are presumed innocent. There are several defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney may use to fight assault charges in Fort Worth:

Self-Defense

One of the most common defenses for assault is self-defense 4. 

If you can show that you used reasonable force to protect yourself or others from harm, the charges may be dropped. The threat must be imminent, and the force used must be proportional.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, you can claim defense of others if you were protecting someone else from harm 4. 

For example, if you saw someone attacking a loved one and stepped in to stop it. Again, the threat and response must be reasonable.

Mistake of Fact

With this defense, you argue that you made a reasonable mistake of fact that led to the assault 4.

For instance, you thought the “victim” had a weapon when they did not. Your actions were based on a mistaken belief.

False Accusations

Many assault charges arise from false accusations made by an angry spouse, partner, family member, etc. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can often uncover inconsistencies and credibility issues with the accuser’s story to show they are lying.

Consent

In certain situations, you may claim the alleged victim consented to the physical contact. This is most common in domestic violence cases where a partner later claims they did not agree to the encounter.

Intoxication

Voluntary intoxication does not excuse criminal conduct. However, if you were involuntarily intoxicated at the time of the alleged assault, it may provide a defense.

Mental Illness

Those found legally insane due to mental illness may use this defense. You must prove you did not understand your actions were wrong due to mental disease or defect.

Next Steps if Facing Assault Charges

If you have been arrested for or charged with assault in Fort Worth, time is of the essence. Here are some steps to take:

  • Remain Silent – Do not admit guilt or make any statements to police. You have the right to remain silent.
  • Hire an Attorney – An experienced criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights, build your defense, and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.
  • Post Bail – If you are in jail, your attorney can request reduced bail or help you post bond to get released until trial.
  • Gather Evidence – Any texts, photos, videos, medical records, or other evidence that supports your innocence should be collected.
  • Explore Defenses – Discuss which legal defenses may apply to your case with your attorney. They can explain your options.
  • Accept a Plea Deal? – Prosecutors may offer a plea bargain to avoid trial. Your lawyer can advise if this is favorable or fight for dismissal/acquittal.

Finding the Right Fort Worth Assault Defense Attorney

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is crucial when facing assault allegations. Look for an attorney who:

  • Has extensive experience with assault and domestic violence cases
  • Is familiar with local courts, judges, and prosecutors
  • Has a proven track record of positive case results
  • Makes you feel comfortable and gives your case proper attention
  • Clearly explains your options and legal rights
  • Is aggressive in investigating facts and building a defense

Don’t take chances with your future. Hire a trusted Fort Worth assault defense lawyer to fight for the best possible outcome in your case today 1  6. 

With an experienced attorney on your side, you can move forward with confidence.

References

1

 https://texascriminaldefensegroup.com/fort-worth-assault-lawyer/

2

 https://www.medlinfirm.com/locations/fort-worth/legal-services/what-types-of-defenses-can-be-used-in-fort-worth-assault-cases/

3

 https://www.blakelawdfw.com/criminal-defense/assault/

4

 https://www.dfwdefenders.com/defenses-to-assault-family-violence-charges-in-dallas-fort-worth-tx

5

 https://www.andrewdeeganlaw.com/criminal-defense/assault

6

 https://www.criminalattorneyfortworth.com/assault-charges/