Assault and Domestic Violence




A Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Near You

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.

Criminal Defense for Domestic Violence 

Any type of domestic violence claim against you can be profoundly distressing and the complex legal consequences require careful consideration and professional guidance. Your choice of a criminal lawyer is an essential safeguard for your rights, reputation, and future. Accusations of domestic violence carry serious consequences, and navigating the legal system without a skilled and knowledgeable criminal lawyer can be perilous. 

Stephen Handy is a criminal law attorney that has a deep understanding of the law surrounding domestic violence and the legal procedures in Texas and has been defending those accused of domestic violence claims for over 20 years. He works tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected, that you have a strong defense, and that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. 

Role of Defense Attorney

Defense attorneys employ various strategies, depending on the exact type of domestic violence (or assault) allegations. These allegations often occur at the same time as a divorce or custody suit and are often “he said, she said.” This can add additional stress to an already emotionally challenging time. Having the right defense attorney can provide support and guidance throughout the process, helping you make informed decisions and reducing stress. 

Defense Against Protective Orders

The landscape surrounding protective orders is changing as of September 1, 2023. The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1432 which essentially allows a court to issue a family violence protective order if the court finds that one, single act of family violence has occurred. Prior to this bill, to be entitled to a family violence protective order, the applicant had to prove not only that family violence occurred but that it was likely to occur in the future. The removal of the “like to occur in the future” will result in more protective orders being granted.

It is not uncommon for protective orders to be filed against someone who does not deserve it. This can be due to a misunderstanding, or it can sometimes be an attempt to keep an individual away from his or her children in a custody dispute. Regardless, protective orders have severe consequences.

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.

Criminal Attorney Stephen Handy

If you have been accused of any form of domestic violence, please contact Stephen Handy. Having a professional and qualified criminal lawyer is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and that a just outcome is achieved. Stephen has represented hundreds of clients charged with domestic violence with unparalleled success. Call him as soon as possible to fight for you. 

Contact Criminal Attorney, Stephen Handy for:

*Proven, Professional Experience

*Personal, Prompt Attention

*Clear, Consistent and Courteous Communication

Fort Worth

By Appointment Only
6519 E Lancaster Avenue, Suite 200
Fort Worth, Texas, 76112
Phone: (817) 284-2264

Hurst Location

1409 Precinct Line Rd, Suite 100
Hurst, Texas, 76053
Phone: (817) 284-2263

Scroll to Top