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Arrested for Assault? Why You Need a Skilled Houston Criminal Lawyer When Accused of Assault Charges

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					                                                     Arrested for Assault? Why You Need a
                                                     Skilled Houston Criminal Lawyer When
                                                     Accused of Assault Charges

                                                     If you have been charged with Assault in Houston, you
                                                     may face serious jail time. When facing criminal charges it
                                                     is crucial that you act quickly in retaining skilled legal
                                                     representation to defend you. Your selection of
                                                     attorneys is a critical choice; few criminal defense
                                                     attorneys have the background and experience as the
                                                     legal team at The Charles Johnson Law Firm. With
                                                     extensive experience in all manner of Assault charges,
                                                     your best interests are aggressively protected in court.
                                                     Your case will be carefully analyzed to determine the
                                                     strategy that will be employed to seek a better outcome
                                                     for the client, no matter how serious the offense.


It does not take much for an altercation or argument to escalate and involve the police. Some people may
believe that an Assault charge consists of a violent fight between two individuals but this is not always the
case. In Texas, Assault can include an attempt to hurt someone physically. In some instances, prosecutors
have decided that the slightest touch is enough to file assault charges. Additionally, the law does not require
the alleged victim to sustain an actual injury.


Whether you are facing a first assault offense or are charged with a serious felony assault, your case will be
carefully reviewed and analyzed to determine if any errors or violations of your rights have taken place during
the arrest, through the chain of custody of evidence, in lab procedures or other aspect of the case that opens
the door to a successful court challenge. It is vital that you do not engage in any discussions,
questioning or interrogations without first contacting Houston Assault Lawyer Charles Johnson to
protect you. Make the call immediately after your arrest. You can call Attorney Johnson anytime night
or day and speak with him directly at (713) 222-7577.


Each assault case has individual circumstances and evidence, and some may consider there is little hope. In
fact, we frequently discover viable options to defend the case in court and will vigorously defend our client.
Our background in the criminal justice system results in a broad understanding of how the prosecutor in the
case will proceed and the strategies for staying one step ahead of the moves they make. Your rights will be
aggressively protected and our legal team will seek a “not guilty” verdict, dismissed charges, a reduced
charge or alternative sentencing, depending on the exact circumstances of your case. Houston Criminal
Lawyer Charles Johnson is here to protect you and to fight for you in court.


Assault Charges in Texas

There are several different types of assault charges including but not limited to:


       Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury
       Assault On A Public Servant, Sexual Assault
       Assault With A Deadly Weapon
       Aggravated Assault


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       Sexual Assault
       Assault Family Violence
       Assault On A Child Or Elderly


Assault charges can range from Class C misdemeanors (e.g. assault by contact) to a 1st degree felony; all
cases will vary based on the facts and criminal history of each defendant. On the lower end of the spectrum
(Class C misdemeanor), the punishment may result in implementation of fines, attendance of anger-
management or marriage counseling classes, or deferred adjudication. Higher level misdemeanors could result
in jail time or probation. Felony cases may result in probation or prison time. Depending on your criminal
history and the actual charge, you may be eligible for special programs like the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
that could result in a dismissal of your case.


Sexual Assault

Like many states, Texas has reconceptualized rape as an assaultive or violent offense rather than a sexual
offense. Like these other states, Texas no long utilizes the term “rape” in its Penal Code. Both types of
“rape”, forcible and statutory ,are found in TPC sec. 22.01. and are forms of “Sexual Assault.” These are in
ch. 22 “Assaultive Offenses” rather than ch. 21 “Sexual Offenses.”


Both are first degree felonies if the offender and victim are closely related. Otherwise the offenses
are second degree felonies. First degree felonies are punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of
not more than 99 years nor less than 5 years. In addition, punishment can include a fine of not more than
$10,000. A second degree felony is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years nor less than 2
years, and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.


Sexual Assault (non-consensual)

The offense that formerly would have been called forcible rape is now found in 22.011 (a) of the TPC.


§ 22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:


(1) intentionally or knowingly:


(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any            means, without that
person’s consent;


(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of


another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that


person’s consent; or


(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the
mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;


Note that unlike the common law definition of rape, this statute is gender-neutral, includes sex acts in addition
to vaginal intercourse, and has no exemption for rape of a spouse.

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Without consent is defined in subsec. (b) in 11 different ways:


A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the


consent of the other person if:


(1) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence;


This is the classic forcible rape scenario. Prior law required the victim to resist and the force had to be such as
would overcome “such earnest resistance as might be reasonably expected under the circumstances.” There
is no requirement of any resistance in the current statute.


(2) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence
against the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the


present ability to execute the threat;


(3) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically
unable to resist;


(4) the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual
assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;


(5) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual
assault is occurring;


Drugging the victim is covered in (6) below and, at first glance, it might appear that subsec. 5 is not
possible. This portion of the statute is aimed primarily at physicians who exceed the scope of a proper
gynecological examination, and the victim is not aware of what is really going on.


(6) the actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s
conduct by administering any substance without the other person’s knowledge;


(7) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence
against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability


to execute the threat;


The final four subsections deal with the situation where a person has control or unusual influence over the
victim and takes advantage of that relationship:


(8) the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;


(9) the actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other
person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by


exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor;

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(10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other
person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual
adviser; or


(11) the actor is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident, unless the employee and
resident are formally or informally married to each other under Chapter 2, Family Code.


Sexual Assault (Statutory Rape)


Forcible rape was a common law offense. Consensual sex with a child was criminalized by a statute by
Parliament, and is thus termed “statutory” rape. The Texas version is found in TPC sec. 21.011 (2). It
provides that an actor commits an offense if he or she


2) intentionally or knowingly:


(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;


(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;


(C) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another
person, including the actor;


(D) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the
actor; or


(E) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.


Note that like the forcible rape version, the statute is gender neutral and includes sex acts other than vaginal
intercourse. There is no element of lack of consent .


A child is defined as someone younger than 17 years of age who is not the spouse of the actor. Because the
acts are consensual, there is, unlike in the forcible rape version, a spousal exception. Persons under 17 are
presumed incapable of giving a valid consent, except when married. Age 17 is referred to as the “age of
consent,”–the age at which the law assumes a valid consent can be given.


There is a defense of medical care: “(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the
conduct consisted of medical care for the child and did not include any contact between the anus or sexual
organ of the child and the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the actor or a third party.”


There is also a defense if the offender and victim are close in age, are not close relatives, and the offender
does not have certain prior convictions for certain sex offenses. In these situations it is less likely that there is
some form of improper exploitation of a young victim by an older predator.


(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that:


(1) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:



                                                         4
(A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for


life as a sex offender; or


(B) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or
adjudication for an offense under this section; and


(2) the victim:


(A) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and


(B) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the
actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.


The statute does not say that the defendant must know that the victim is under 17, and Texas courts have not
created such a requirement. Thus, (as in a majority of states) mistake of fact about the victim’s age is not a
defense.


Aggravated Sexual Assault

If a sexual assault under sec. 22.011 involves any of the following acts by the offender, the offense is
Aggravated Sexual Assault (sec. 22.021 (2):


(i) causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of
the same criminal episode;


(ii) by acts or words places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be
imminently inflicted on any person;


(iii) by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause the death, serious bodily
injury, or kidnapping of any person;


(iv) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;


(v) acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1) directed toward the
same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode; or


(vi) administers or provides flunitrazepam, otherwise known as rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or
ketamine [so-called “date rape drugs”] to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the
commission of the offense;


It is also an aggravated sexual Assault if the victim is under               14   or   an   elderly   or   disabled
individual. Aggravated Sexual Assault is a felony of the first degree.


Assault Family Violence



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Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson handles a large number of Assault Family Violence cases, both
misdemeanors and felonies. These types of cases typically involve family members but may also include
former spouses, domestic partners, roommates, and present/former boyfriends/girlfriends.


Frequently, assault family violence cases involve police officers responding to a call about a disturbance. The
police will likely talk to both parties and make an arrest based on whose story they believe or what the
evidence indicates. Unfortunately, sometimes, the person arrested is actually the victim and not the
aggressor. Other times, a mere accusation of violence may be enough for a criminal case to be filed.
Sometimes, penalties for assault family violence may be harsher than normal assault cases and may result in
temporary or permanent loss of parental rights.


Unfortunately, having an assault family violence conviction on your record can be used to deny child custody
and limit your visitation rights if you are undergoing a divorce or other child custody hearings.


Affidavits of Non-Prosecution

Unlike in TV shows and movies, an assault case cannot be dropped in Texas simply because the victim
requests that the charges be dropped. Instead, the right to drop the case belongs to the prosecutor and
judge. However, not all hope is lost. Frequently, criminal defense attorneys help the victims in assault cases
prepare Affidavits of Non-Prosecution, which express the victims wish that the case be dismissed and may
shed some light on the altercation or argument that led to the arrest and filing of charges. While these
affidavits can’t guarantee that a case is dismissed, they certainly help in persuading the prosecutor to dismiss
the case or reduce the charges.


Protective Orders and Court Ordered Injunctions

In some cases of assault, the prosecutor will request that a court impose temporary protective orders or an
injunction to place restrictions on contact between the accused and the victim, or in the case of assault family
violence on the other family members. Protective orders may vary, ranging from no contact with the alleged
victim, which frequently results in the accused having to find another place to live until the case is resolved or
the protective order lifted, or could result in a temporary loss of child custody. A violation of a Court Ordered
Protective order is also a serious criminal matter and may result in additional criminal charges filed against the
accused.


Aggravated Assault & Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Aggravated assault consists of two different charges: aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and
assault with a deadly weapon, both of which are typically second degree felonies. An aggravated assault
causing serious bodily injury occurs when during the course of an assault the victim was seriously injured. It is
escalated from a mere slap to the face to a more severe resulting injury. Assault with deadly weapon occurs
when the accused is alleged to have exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Deadly
weapons can include but are not limited to: baseball bats, BB guns, bottles, clubs, drugs, firearms, knives,
motor vehicles, nail guns, and even dustpans and hot water.


However, if you are accused of committing an aggravated assault against someone with whom you have a
domestic relationship, or against a security guard, witness, police officer, or public official the charge may be
elevated to a first degree felony. If you have any questions about what constitutes assault in Texas or have


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been charged with assault, feel free to visit us on Facebook and post a question, leave a comment or fill out a
free case evaluation form with no obligation


List of Common Texas Assault Charges

• Assault


• Sexual assault


• Aggravated assault


• Aggravated sexual assault


• Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual


• Abandoning or endangering child


• Deadly conduct


• Consent as defense to assaultive conduct


• Terroristic threat


• Aiding suicide


• Tampering with consumer product


• Leaving a child in a vehicle


• Harassment by persons in certain correctional facilities; harassment of public servant


• Applicability to certain conduct


Possible Defenses for Assault Charges

Despite what the police might say, being charged by the Police with an offense does not mean that you will be
found guilty of that offense. It is also true to say that Police are human and do make mistakes. In some
domestic violence cases they may be bound to take action against someone even though they would prefer
not to and in other cases they may be biased or act illegally.


There are many reasons why you may be found not guilty by the court, some of which include:


       The police don’t have enough evidence to prove that you committed the offense;
       The police have acted illegally or improperly;
       A witness may not attend court;
       The Police have charged you with the wrong offense;
       Where applicable the Police cannot prove that the injuries amount to actual or grievous bodily harm;

                                                           7
        You are able to rely on a recognized defense.


Self Defense


Self-defense claims are made when a defendant agrees that act of assault occurred, but it also that it was
justified by the other person’s threatening actions. A jury must decide that the person accused of the crime
acted reasonably. The questions which must be asked include:


        Who was the aggressor?
        Was the defendant’s belief that self-defense was necessary a reasonable one?
        Did the defendant use only the force necessary to combat the aggressor?


Defense of Others


Defense of Others claims are similar to self defense claims. When making such a claim, a defendant agrees
that act occurred, but claims that it was justified by the other person’s threatening actions to a third person.


Again, to succeed, a jury must determine that the defendant acted reasonably under the circumstances.


Alibis


An alibi defense is simply the argument that the defendant could not have committed the crime because that
defendant was somewhere else.


Credibility


One of the best and most common defenses is to challenge the credibility of witnesses including the police. A
good attorney will examine all aspects of a witnesses statements, the inconsistencies and the omissions.
Witness testimony may be undermined by prior inconsistent statements or rebuttal witnesses that tell a
different story.


In any criminal case it is very important to preserve evidence before it gets cold. That means you should hire
an experienced and aggressive attorney for your representation as soon as possible. If you do not, your rights
could be impaired.


An investigation must be performed which would involve photographing the scene, examining critical evidence
and interviewing potential witnesses while their memory is fresh. (A defendant cannot perform these functions
by themselves since they may be viewed as tampering with a witness).


Accuser Motivation


Because sexual charges are often based on the word of the accuser, the motivations and background of the
accuser are highly relevant to sex crimes defense. Proper investigation and use of psychological experts can
uncover facts that can be helpful to your defense.




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       Lying about consensual sex. Some may make false charges of sexual assault or rape to cover up
        consensual sex in order to protect their own reputation from damage to hide casual sexual encounters
        from friends and family.
       Child custody disputes. A parent may make false accusations of molestation or inappropriate sexual
        behavior against his or her spouse in order to gain an advantage in family court. Such false charges
        are a common tactic in divorce and custody cases.
       Financial advantage. A sexual charge is an easy way for an accuser to extort money from a
        defendant. Celebrities are not the only targets of these schemes. An employee can easily bring such a
        charge against an employer. We have also seen extortion associated with extramarital affairs.


Suppression of Evidence


If photographs, computer files or other records were obtained from you, there are very strict search and
seizure guidelines that the police must follow. Illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against you in court.
In sex crimes cases, there are limited circumstances in which incriminating evidence can be suppressed. A
motion to suppress is a Constitutional Right and an effective weapon in the hands of an experienced sex
crimes defense attorney.


“Taint”


“Taint” can occur when children are subjected to biased and suggestive interviews. Parents, teachers, police
and even therapists can ask leading questions such as “daddy touched you there, didn’t he?” Often, the adult
conducting the interrogation is not consciously aware of the suggestive nature of the question. Young children,
who are eager to please adults, often answer “yes” and even build false memories about events that did not
actually occur.


Fighting a criminal case can be very complicated. Did you know that many cases are dismissed on
technicalities? The Best Houston Assault Attorney must have knowledge of the court system and know the
different personalities of Judges and Prosecutors.


Hire the Best Houston Assault Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Johnson if you or one of your loved ones could even possibly be facing any
type of Assault charge. Don’t make the huge, regrettable mistake of acting without legal representation, the
most foolish course of action when dealing with the criminal justice system.


It is important that you seek legal counsel if you have been arrested for Assault in Houston as soon as
possible. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson is an experienced and skilled lawyer who can help you protect your
rights, investigate the evidence, and negotiate with the state to get the charges filed against you reduced or
dismissed.


Acting promptly and aggressively is the key to protecting your freedom and ultimate well being. Houston
Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson is available by phone 24 hours a day at (713) 222-7577. He knows
how important your case is, and wants to protect you from the very outset.


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Original article may be found at:
Arrested for Assault? Why You Need a Skilled Houston Criminal Lawyer When Accused of Assault
Charges

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.


Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson
Solving Problems...Every Day®
http://www.houstonlawyer.com

815 Walker Street #1047
Houston, TX 77002

E-Mail: charlesjohnson@houstonlawyer.com

Phone: (713) 222-7577
Toll-Free: (877) 308-0100
Map to Office

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Description: Whether you are facing a first assault offense or are charged with a serious felony assault, your case will be carefully reviewed and analyzed to determine if any errors or violations of your rights have taken place during the arrest, through the chain of custody of evidence, in lab procedures or other aspect of the case that opens the door to a successful court challenge. It is vital that you do not engage in any discussions, questioning or interrogations without first contacting Houston Assault Lawyer Charles Johnson to protect you. Make the call immediately after your arrest. You can call Attorney Johnson anytime night or day and speak with him directly at (713) 222-7577.