Why Threats Alone Can Be The Basis For Assault Charges In Texas

A woman recently threatened to kill her sister and swore at a 911 dispatcher on Wednesday before law enforcement arrested the woman on an assault charge. Law enforcement initially responded to a disturbance at a home in the Denton area. While en route to the scene, dispatchers were informed about the woman’s threatening behavior. The woman was reported to yell loudly enough to cause lights in the house next door as well as across the street to come one. The woman was then booked into the Denton City Jail. This case raises an important lesson that is often overlooked by people faced with assault charges, which is that threatening behavior alone even without the presence of injuries or physical actions can constitute a charge of assault. If you or a loved one faces assault charges, you need to understand what your charges mean and obtain the assistance of strong legal representation.

What Constitutes Assault in Texas

A large number of people think that assault involves hitting or harming someone in any way. In reality, a person need not actually make contact with another individual to be convicted of assault. As a result, threats alone can constitute assault.

Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code classifies the various types of assault charges, which include the following categories:

  • Simple Assault: This offense occurs if a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. This offense also occurs if a person merely threatens another individual with imminent bodily injury.
  • Aggravated Assault: This offense occurs if a person causes serious bodily injury to another individual or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of an offense.

Being convicted of both of these offenses can result in both several years or more in prison as well as substantial fines. As a result, it is often important for a person who is charged with the offense to create a strong legal strategy to avoid these charges.

Creating a Strong Defense to an Assault Charge

While there are several common ways in which people are able to create strong defenses against assault charges, the defense that is most commonly raised includes self-defense. To successfully raise a self defense argument, a person must be able to establish that a threat of imminent harm existed, that the person did not provoke or harm anyone first, and that there were not any alternatives to avoid the situation. Some of the other common types of defenses that are raised to charges of assault include protecting others or situations where the alleged victim consented to the act.

Discover How a Criminal Defense Attorney can Help

If you face criminal charges, it is important to quickly contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Obtain the services of Wheeler Law Office today for the strong legal representation that you need in this difficult time. Our legal counsel has significant experience navigating various criminal cases and knows what it takes to defend your rights.

(image courtesy of Aaron Mello)