The Crime of Assault

Jan 25, 2009

When the economy gets bad, one of the first things that seems to come apart at the seams is the crime rate. It goes up. Whether or not this has to do with the lack of money, loss of jobs or other factors, assaults seem to be on the rise.

This is shocking, but in Texas in 2007 alone, there were 73,426 assaults reported statewide. If that doesn’t give you some pause, I don’t know what else would. Since then, the economy has gone into the toilet and you may well imagine what those figures may be when tallied for 2008.

The crime of assault is usually defined as the intentional, knowing or reckless causing of bodily injury or threatening imminent bodily injury. This crime is usually charged as a Class “A” misdemeanor, but may be enhanced for various reasons.

Since intention is part of the definition, assault is pegged as an intentional wrongdoing that distinguishes it from negligence.

Further to this classification of assault is the aggravated assault, which means causing serious bodily injury or use of a deadly weapon. This is typically a second degree felony.

Another assault crime classification that many people are relatively familiar with, thanks to shows like CSI, is assault and battery (also a felony.) This is where actual contact is made with the victim and they require medical treatment. If convicted on this charge, there is usually time behind bars, fines, anger management classes, etc. The punishment, in most cases, suits the circumstances of the nature of the crime. Any priors will make things worse.

The thing with assault cases, and any other criminal offense, is that nothing is ever cut and dried. This is precisely why, if you are facing any of these types of charges, you must contact a qualified board certified criminal defense attorney. This is the “only” person who will be able to see to it that you get a good defense and who may be able to mitigate the charges or the punishment, and who may also be able to get the charges thrown out of court.

Make your first call to a criminal defense attorney who knows the system inside out and is familiar with the hundreds of nuances the various assault cases carry with them. It may mean your freedom or serving a reduced sentence.

Daniel Wannamaker is a board certified criminal law specialist and has 24 years of criminal trial experience with proven results as a Dallas criminal defense lawyer practicing in Austin criminal defense and Houston Texas. To learn more, visit

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