Fort Worth Assault & Domestic Assault Defense Attorney
Respectful and Intelligent Representation from a Former Law Enforcement Agent
Allegations of violent offenses like assault and family violence are serious criminal matters. You could face years behind bars and lose your right to possess a firearm. Mr. Shipley is a client-oriented defense lawyer who brings a unique background as a former law enforcement officer and FBI agent. He has over 20 years of criminal justice experience, and his background in the FBI enables him to conduct thorough investigations that other lawyers may not be as skilled at doing. He will examine the available evidence and can strategize a defense that anticipates the likely arguments of law enforcement. You can count on respectful and intelligent defense representation when you work with The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC.
Contact us for a free consultation to get started. Representing defendants in Tarrant County.
Texas’ Assault Laws
A person commits simple (misdemeanor) assault in Texas when they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- cause or threaten to cause bodily injury to another person; or
- engage in provocative or offensive physical contact with another person.
Aggravated assault, a felony, involves:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person; or
- using or exhibiting a deadly weapon while committing assault.
The penalties for assault depend on the circumstances of the offense. For instance, simple assault involving offensive contact or threats of physical harm is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 in fines, but the offense increases to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $4,000 in fines if the alleged victim is elderly or disabled. The assault is charged as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines if the alleged victim was a sports official or participant during the event.
Most other simple assault offenses resulting in bodily injury are Class A misdemeanors. However, the assault increases to a third-degree felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if the alleged victim was:
- a security officer;
- a public servant;
- a government employee or contractor working at a correctional facility or secure treatment or rehab facility; or
- emergency services personnel.
Simple assault causing injury to a police officer or judge while they are performing their legal duties is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison.
Aggravated assault offenses are all charged as felonies. Typically, aggravated assault is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. However, the crime elevates to a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in prison and $10,000 in fines when:
- the offender used a deadly weapon to commit domestic assault (below) and caused serious bodily injury;
- the aggravated assault was committed by or against a public servant acting in their official capacity;
- the offender retaliated against a witness, informant, or a person who reported a crime; or
- the offender shot a firearm from a motor vehicle at a house, building, or vehicle with reckless disregard for whether it was occupied and caused serious bodily injury.
Family Violence Offenses
Domestic assault, or assault committed against a family or household member, is classified as a family violence crime. In the context of Texas’ family violence laws, a “family or household member” can be:
- a current or former spouse;
- a co-parent;
- a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption;
- a current or former co-resident; or
- a current or former dating partner.
Domestic assault can be penalized as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation:
- Misdemeanor – domestic assault involving threats of harm or provocative or offensive contact is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500; domestic assault causing an alleged victim bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $4,000 in fines
- Felony – if the defendant has prior domestic assault convictions or if the offense involved strangulation or suffocation, the domestic assault is a third-degree felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
It is also a crime of family violence to violate a family protective order. Violating any terms of the order, such as engaging with the order petitioner despite there being a no-contact clause, constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. If the defendant has two or more convictions for violating a family protective order or violated the order by committing an assault or stalking, they may be charged with a third-degree felony. Repeated violations within 12 months also constitute a third-degree felony.
If you are facing assault or domestic assault allegations in Fort Worth, Texas, reach out to Mr. Shipley today for informed defense representation. The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC can investigate the accusations against you and strategize an effective defense against those charges.
Schedule a free consultation with The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC today to get started. An attorney will return your call within 24 hours.