Assault and Domestic Violence




If you are reading this page, you may have learned how easy it is to be facing a criminal charge for assault. It is hard to believe that a simple accusation alone is enough to cause such devastating consequences, such as being removed from your home, losing custody of your children, losing your job, facing jail time, and facing a criminal record that affects all future opportunities.

You may wonder, “But how can that be? It’s ‘he said, she said’, right?”

Right. But guess who’s in jail or out on bond while the courts decide who to believe? You. Until you find yourself in a situation like this, or until you are actually charged with a crime you did not commit, you will never fully appreciate the role of a good criminal defense attorney. When you are charged with assault, a good criminal defense attorney is the lifeline you need to help you navigate the present and protect the future. My experience in this area over the last two decades makes me one of the most qualified attorneys in Texas to handle your case. 

Why Stephen Handy is the Best Attorney to Represent You

As a former Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney, one of the positions I held was that of a Felony Prosecutor in the Family Violence Unit.

Prosecutors in the Family Violence Unit have the special function of handling only domestic violence-related cases in Tarrant County Criminal Court 5. My experience in that court gives me a special advantage when assisting my clients. I have a complete understanding of how County Criminal Court 5 works, and I will fight as hard as possible to protect you and your reputation.

I care about more than just keeping you out of jail; I care about your name, your reputation, and your future. Please call me immediately to set up a consultation. Assault charges carry serious consequences, and time is often a critical component.

Different Types of Assault Offenses:

You may find yourself charged with one of many different categories of assault offenses or assault-related offenses:

  • Assault by contact
  • Assault Bodily Injury – Family Member
  • Assault Bodily Injury – Impeding Breath
  • Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury
  • Assault on a Public Servant
  • Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Assault Bodily Injury -Continuous Violence 
  • Deadly conduct
  • Indecent Assault
  • Interfering with an emergency call
  • Sexual Assault
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Violation of a Protective Order

The most common cases include Assault Bodily Injury Family Member, Terroristic Threat, Interfering with an emergency telephone call, and Violation of a Protective Orders cases.

Assault Offenses- What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between Assault by Contact, Assault Bodily Injury, and Aggravated Assault?  According to the Texas Penal Code, Title 5 Offenses Against the Person, Chapter 22, Assault Offenses, someone commits an offense if they:

  1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse
  2. Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse
  3. Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

Notice that under Texas criminal law it is possible to be charged with an assault offense by causing or threatening to cause bodily injury. It can be an intentional threat or even unintentional through reckless words and conduct. You can also be charged with assault if you make physical contact with someone else knowing that  the other person will consider it offensive or provocative (Assault by Contact or Simple Assault – Class C Misdemeanor). No wonder as a criminal defense attorney I have had so many clients accused of assault!

Terroristic Threat

A common scenario looks like this: if you are angry with someone and start running your mouth and venting your frustration, it’s absolutely possible that you could be charged with an assault offense like a Terroristic Threat. A Terroristic Threat is not what it sounds like. It does not mean anyone thinks you are a terrorist in the context that we have come to assume through media coverage. A Terroristic Threat can be as simple as threatening to cause imminent serious bodily injury to someone. This can be the result of a verbal argument where you say something to the other party, placing that person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. You may not have had any real intent to follow through with the threat, but simply yelling angry words during a heated argument can be taken as a legitimate threat.  Although a charge of Terroristic Threat is a misdemeanor in most cases, it looks horrible on your record. If you have been accused of Terroristic Threat or any other assault offense, you certainly need an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer to work on your behalf in order to restore your reputation.

Assault Bodily Injury – Public Servant

If you have been charged with assault, it is usually a Class A misdemeanor. However, in some cases, assault can be a felony offense. For example, if you are accused of committing assault against a public servant (a security officer, emergency services personnel, or a schoolteacher), you may find yourself charged with the felony offense of Assault Bodily Injury-Public Servant.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault is different from assault because it requires a finding of serious bodily injury or involves the use of a deadly weapon in order to intimidate the victim. Most aggravated assault crimes are felonies and have serious repercussions. If the assault was committed against a family member, government official, witness or informant, a security officer on the job, or other specific circumstances, the charge can be upgraded to a First-Degree Felony.

Additional Charges:

The following are crimes that could result in additional charges:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Child molestation
  • Indecent Assault

Other crimes that are considered under the Assault Chapter in the Texas Penal Code include:

  • Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
  • Abandoning or endangering child
  • Deadly conduct
  • Terroristic threat
  • Aiding suicide
  • Leaving a child in a vehicle
  • Intoxication assault


What should you do if you are being investigated or charged with an assaultive offense? The single best advice is to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As an experienced criminal lawyer with extensive experience in assault charges, I can help protect your rights in any and all types of assault cases. These cases must be reviewed and accepted by the district attorney for prosecution. If the case is a felony charge a Grand Jury must review the evidence and decide if there is enough evidence to indict the case.  These are both big opportunities to have your case dismissed. You do not want to sit on the sideline and hope that the district attorney rejects your case or that the Grand Jury No-Bills your case. Please reach out to me anytime if you are facing this type of allegation. I handle every type of assault charge in Tarrant County and throughout the State of Texas.

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