Assault charges can lead to incarceration and may also put someone at enhanced risk of a personal injury lawsuit. Those accused of harming or intimidating another person in Texas could face criminal charges, the severity of which will depend on what led to their arrest.
While assault may not be as serious of an allegation as homicide, it is still a violent offense that carries significant social stigma and which could permanently impact someone’s opportunities in life. Therefore, those arrested on allegations of assault often want to mount a defense during a criminal trial.
What strategies may work for those accused of assaulting another person?
Proving no crime occurred
There are several ways for a defendant accused of assault to establish that an assault did not occur. People sometimes think pushing back on the severity of talking about the alleged victim’s injuries is a way to avoid a conviction for assault. However, severe injury is not a requirement for assault charges. Instead, someone simply needs to put another person in credible fear for their safety. To prove that an assault did not happen, they may also try to challenge the claim that they made a credible threat. Reframing a situation so others view the threat as unrealistic and therefore not a reason to fear for one’s safety could potentially undermine the basis for the assault charges.
Proving they weren’t involved
There are many forms of evidence that could exonerate someone allegedly involved in an assault. Witnesses or security camera footage could show another person caused the situation. There could be a viable alibi, as the defendant was in another neighborhood at the time of the incident. It could even be data from someone’s phone or the pictures they take showing that they were at a party elsewhere at the time of an incident that proves they were not the one who assaulted someone else.
Establishing that they acted in self-defense
Behavior that might seem like assault from one perspective could actually be an attempt to defend oneself. Texas law allows for acts of self-defense in scenarios where people fear for their own physical safety, the immediate safety of others or even their property rights. Provided that someone didn’t instigate the situation, they could defend themselves by claiming they acted in self-defense.
Discussing someone’s arrest and the claims made by the state with an attorney can be a good starting point for those who want to fight back against Texas assault charges.