Assault on a Public Servant
Assault is a serious charge with harsh penalties. However, committing assault on a public servant is a felony charge. A public servant is any person performing a governmental function such as a juror or police officer. Harming a public servant can lead to enhanced penalties.
If you’re convicted for assault on a public servant, you could face a fine and a lengthy prison sentence. The consequences, however, won’t stop there. When you’re released you will deal with being labeled a felon. Felons can have a hard time gaining employment, housing, or maintaining personal relationships.
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault on a public servant, it’s important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney for Assault on a Public Servant in Austin, Texas
Texas assault laws have certain enhancements based on who the victim is. If you commit assault on a public servant, you could face elevated penalties. Instead of facing misdemeanor charges, you’ll be dealing with a felony. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault on a public servant, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced attorney.
Kevin Bennett is a practiced attorney who has been practicing criminal defense for years. He handles each case personally to ensure that his clients have his full attention. You will never be handed off to an associate attorney or be left on the backburner with Kevin Bennett. He will answer all your questions no matter how minor.
Call now at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation today. Kevin Bennett defends those accused of crimes throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Tarrytown, Lago Vista and West Lake Hills.
Overview of Assault on a Public Servant
- Definition of Assault in Texas
- What’s a Public Servant?
- Penalties for Assault on a Public Servant
- Other Assault Enhancements
- Additional Resources
Assault Defined Under Texas Law
It’s never a good idea to harm another person. However, sometimes things can go out of our control and someone is hurt because of it. Assault charges can lead to serious penalties including prison time. Texas Penal Code § 22.01 states a person commits assault if:
- They intentionally or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person;
- They intentionally or recklessly cause imminent bodily injury to another person; or
- They intentionally cause physical contact with another that can be reasonably perceived as offensive or provocative.
What’s a Public Servant?
Committing assault on a public servant may lead to enhanced charges. Texas law states your penalties may be elevated if you assault a public servant:
- Who is discharged from duty;
- In retaliation for something else;
- On an account of an exercise from their official position; or
- While they are performing their official duties.
You may be wondering what a public servant is. Texas Penal Code § 1.07 states a public servant is any person who works as an:
- Government official, employee, or agent;
- Juror or grand juror;
- Attorney at law;
- Public notary;
- Public office candidate for nomination or election;
- Referee, arbitrator or any person who is authorized to hear or determine a cause or controversy by law; or
- Any person who is performing a governmental function.
Texas Penalties for Assault on a Public Servant
Simple assault is charged as a class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, assault on a public servant can lead to enhanced penalties. Assault on a public servant is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to 10 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Assault on EMS Officers on the Rise in Austin, Texas
Assaulting a public servant isn’t necessarily a frequent charge, but for some reason in Austin assault cases involving EMS medics are on the rise. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel is a type of public servant defined under Texas law. This year Austin and Travis County conducted an internal survey after noticing a nationwide increase of violence to medics.
The survey discovered that 132 field medics, or 63 percent, of all medics have been physically assault more than once in the last two years. In addition, 22 communications employees claimed they were verbally assault more than once in the last two years. According to reports, most of these assaults happened in the back of ambulances.
The study found that impairment, aggressiveness and mental or behavioral health are all conditions among patients found to have contributed to the assaults. However, most field medics state it’s nearly impossible to avoid the assaults and harassment while working.
Emergency medical services are now looking into the findings to discover any way to reduce the number of assaults on medics and communications staff. As of now, they are discussing reporting, training and de-escalation techniques to start off. It’s a very real possibility that legal action or new legislation may also arise from this issue in an attempt to stop the assaults.
Other Assault Enhancements in Texas
Assault on a public servant isn’t the only enhancement for assault charges. Texas Penal Code § 22.01 explains the various ways your penalties may be enhanced. An assault charge can be elevated to a third-degree felony if you assaulted:
- A family member, significant other or household member and:
- You have been previously convicted for assault, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child or continuous violence against the family; or
- The assault was committed by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the victim by applying pressure to their throat or neck.
- An employee of a correctional facility or secure detention facility:
- While the victim was engaged in the official duties; or
- To retaliate for the victim’s performance of a service in their occupation.
- A security officer on duty;
- Emergency medical personnel while they are on duty;
- A pregnant woman as a forced abortion; or
- An officer, employee or contractor of the state for a civil commitment facility while you are committed.
Assault is a second-degree felony if you assaulted:
- A family member, significant other or household member; and
- You have been convicted for assault, kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping against a family member, significant other or household member; and
- The assault was committed by impeding the circulation or breathing of the blood of the victim by applying pressure to their throat or neck.
It’s also a second-degree felony if you assaulted a judge or peace officer. A second-degree felony is punishable by:
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Assault Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to find more information about assault offenses. Access the statute to find more information about assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault and other types of violent crime.
Texas Legal Terms – Visit the official website of Texas legislature to learn the definitions for specific legal terms. Find more information about what a public servant is, what the law defines as a correctional or detention facility and how Texas defines family.
Lawyer for Assault on A Public Servant in Travis County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault on a public servant, it’s important that you seek trusted legal representation. Kevin Bennett is an experienced attorney who defends those accused of any kind of assault.
Contact Kevin Bennett to have your case evaluated. Kevin Bennett can go through your legal options concerning your charges. In addition, he can formulate a strong defense for your case. Call today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents clients throughout the greater Austin area including Rollingwood, Sunset Valley, Lago Vista, Lakeway and West Lake Hills.
This article was last updated on February 1st, 2019.