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Attorney Brad Thornton is a highly experienced and Board-Certified criminal defense lawyer. With his background as a former Chief Prosecutor, he has a unique understanding of the criminal justice system and is able to provide comprehensive and effective representation to his clients. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment in court, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Brad Thornton is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case, whether it is in San Antonio or elsewhere in South Texas. He recognizes the stress and anxiety that can come with being accused of a crime, and approaches his clients with compassion while keeping them informed at every step of the process. His knowledge and experience make him a strong advocate for his clients.
Texas Penal Code § 22.01 -ASSAULT BODILY INJURY
Assault Criminal Defense Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
In Texas, assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, threatening another person with imminent bodily injury, or causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.. There are several different ways to commit assault in Texas, including:
Assault by Offensive Conduct: This type of assault involves causing physical offensive or provocative contact with another person.
Assault by threat: This type of assault involves threatening another person with imminent bodily injury.
Assault causing bodily injury: This is the most common form of assault, and it involves causing bodily injury to another person through physical force.
Assault of a Peace Officer: This type of assault involves causing bodily injury to a peace officer or judge.
Assault of a Public Servant: This type of assault involves causing bodily injury to a public servant such as a firefighter, EMS personnel, or a teacher.
Aggravated assault: This type of assault involves causing serious bodily injury to another person or using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Sexual assault: This type of assault involves non-consensual sexual contact or penetration.
The offenses of Aggravated Assault and Sexual Assault are covered in detail here:
Assault of a Peace Officer and Assault of a Public Servant in Texas
In Texas, assault of a public servant is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation for or on account of the public servant's official duty. A public servant is defined as a person employed by the government, including a firemen, teachers, and EMS personnel.
Assault of a peace officer is a specific type of assault of a public servant, and it is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to a peace officer while the peace officer is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation for or on account of the peace officer's official duty. A peace officer is defined as a person who is commissioned by the state to enforce the laws of the state or the laws of a political subdivision of the state.
The main difference between assault of a public servant and assault of a peace officer is the specific type of public servant who is the victim of the assault. Assault of a public servant applies to any type of public servant, while assault of a peace officer applies specifically to law enforcement officers who are commissioned by the state.
Bodily Injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
In Texas, the mental states of intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly are used to determine the severity of a crime and the appropriate punishment. These mental states refer to the defendant's state of mind at the time the crime was committed.
Intentionally: This mental state means that the defendant acted with the specific purpose of committing the crime. For example, if a person intentionally hits another person with a closed fist, they did so with the purpose of causing bodily injury.
Knowingly: This mental state means that the defendant was aware that their actions were likely to result in the commission of a crime. For example, if a person knowingly points a loaded gun at another person, they are aware that their actions could result in serious bodily injury or death.
Recklessly: This mental state means that the defendant acted with disregard for the consequences of their actions. For example, if a person drives recklessly at high speeds and causes a car accident, they acted with disregard for the safety of others.
In general, crimes committed with the mental state of intentionally or knowingly are more serious than those committed recklessly. The specific mental state of the defendant will be considered when determining the appropriate punishment for a crime.
Defenses to Assault in Texas
There are several possible defenses to the charge of assault causing serious bodily injury in Texas. These defenses include:
Self-defense: Under Texas law, it is a defense to assault charges if the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another person. To claim self-defense, the defendant must have reasonably believed that they or another person were in imminent danger of bodily injury or death, and that the use of force was necessary to prevent that harm.
Defense of property: It is also a defense to assault charges if the defendant was protecting their own property or the property of another person. To claim defense of property, the defendant must have reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary to protect the property from imminent harm.
Lack of intent: If the defendant did not intentionally or knowingly cause serious bodily injury, they may be able to argue that they should not be held responsible for the injury. For example, if a person accidentally causes serious bodily injury while engaging in lawful activity, they may not be guilty of assault.
Consent: If the victim of the assault willingly participated in the activity that resulted in the injury, the defendant may be able to argue that the injury was consensual and not the result of an assault. This defense is typically used in cases involving sporting events or other activities where the risk of injury is inherent.
Mistake of fact: If the defendant had a reasonable belief that their actions were necessary to prevent harm to themselves or others, they may be able to argue that they made a mistake of fact. For example, if a person mistakenly believes that another person is about to attack them, and they defend themselves with force, they may be able to claim a mistake of fact defense.
These defenses are codified in the Texas Penal Code, specifically in sections 9.31-9.33 (self-defense), 9.41 (defense of property), and 8.02 (mistake of fact).