Charged With Assault On A Public Servant In Houston?
Assault on a public servant is a felony offense in the state of Texas. Public servants receive special protection by law. Some lawyers feel that enhanced criminal penalties for assaultive offenses against public servants are a statement from the state that its employees’ lives are more important than those they’re charged with protecting.
If you or a relative was charged with assault on a public servant, you’ll need aggressive legal representation on your side. Immediately seek competent legal counsel to defend you. Call Paul Morgan Law Office, PLLC, at 713-969-5007.
Assault On A Public Servant & Texas Law
An assault on a public servant can be an action as simple as making bodily contact that the public official considers to be ‘offensive or provocative.’ This is misdemeanor simple assault, but since a public servant was assaulted, that charge is enhanced to a Third-Degree Felony. For a simple assault on a public servant to be enhanced to a Third-Degree Felony, the offense must’ve occurred while they were discharging their official duties or in retaliation to the exercise of those powers.
Although assault is crime in itself, criminal penalties are enhanced when a person who can be classified as a public servant is assaulted. There are four classes of public servants recognized under Texas law:
- Public servants (police officers and political office holders)
- Government contractors
- Security guards
- Emergency services personnel
The law presumes the offender knew the person was a public servant if they were uniformed.
Aggravated Assault On A Public Servant
An assault on a public servant can be enhanced to a First-Degree Felony if serious bodily injury occurred or a deadly weapon was used. Simply exhibiting a weapon is sufficient to enhance a simple assault charge to aggravated assault.
Serious bodily injury is defined as an injury involving hospitalization or requiring medical attention.
All other previously discussed assault requirements must also be met:
- The presumption of knowledge that the individual was a public official
- The requirement that the bodily harm is knowing, intentional or reckless
- The element of retaliation all apply to first-degree felony assaults
- A third-degree felony assaultive offense carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Second-degree felonies are punishable by two to twenty years in prison with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- First-degree aggravated assaults are punished by prison sentences of not less than five years. The maximum prison sentence for first-degree felony assault is life in prison – depending on the gravity of the injuries to the public servant and circumstances surrounding the assault.
If current legislation to classify Assaults on Public Servants as hate crimes is written into law, a First-Degree Felony resulting in serious bodily injury to a public servant will automatically carry a sentence of up to 99 years or life in prison.
Potential Defense Strategies
There are many defenses concepts that Attorney Paul Morgan may consider for your case that are listed below.
- The law provides protections against false or exaggerated accusations.
- Evidence that is irrelevant can be suppressed.
- You were unable to retreat or escape the situation.
- You were protecting someone from a rogue officer.
Charged With Assault On A Public Servant? Attorney Paul Morgan Can Help
When facing an assault charge involving a public servant you’ll need high-quality representation. I am an aggressive attorney who will fight for your rights and liberty.
You’ll need a detail-oriented, hands-on attorney to investigate your case.
Houston criminal defense attorney Paul Morgan will leave no stone unturned as he provides a thorough investigation of the facts. Legal consultations are 100% confidential and there’s no fee for an initial case review.