Alcoholism is a serious concern in American society. Many people enjoy a drink after work, but not everyone has the strength to stop after one or two drinks. Some people will drink at bars or parties until they can't stand up, while others will drink in private to avoid the judgment of others. There are many risks involved with alcohol abuse, including the potential for driving while impaired charges.
It's all to easy for someone who routinely drinks to lose his or her temper while under the influence. All it takes is one disagreement that goes too far and you could find yourself facing serious criminal charges, including assault.
Alcohol can impair your decision-making and increase emotional responses
Even the most level-headed individual is susceptible to making poor decisions while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is known for removing people's sense of social inhibitions, which can make it a lot of fun at parties. However, the downside is that it can also lead to atypical outbursts of anger and aggression in typically calm and rational individuals.
There's a reason that fistfights are commonly associated with parties and bars. Little provocations may seem like major insults while under the influence. It doesn't take much for someone to go from a calm conversation to throwing a punch after a few too many drinks. Unfortunately, simply being under the influence will not suffice as a defense to criminal charges related to assault.
Texas will definitely prosecute you over assault charges
You may hope that you have the ability to raise a strong defense and your lack of previous criminal charges will spare you, but that is not always the case. In fact, you may think that if the other person was not severely hurt, you will not end up convicted.
The definition of assault in Texas includes the threat of physical violence, as well as actually injuring another person. If you become physically intimidating toward another person while drunk or make credible threats against someone, those actions could be grounds for assault charges. You can also face assault charges for physically contacting someone without injury if the intent was to offend or provoke.
The consequences for assault can change your life
If the assault charges in your case stem from a threat or an attempt to offend or provoke, you will most likely face Class C misdemeanor charges. Typically, as long as there are no other aggravating factors, the penalty for this may be as simple as a $500 fine.
If you assault someone who is a professional athlete during or because of an athletic performance, that is a Class B misdemeanor. The potential penalties include up to 180 days in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000.
If you cause bodily injury to another person or engage in provocative or offensive physical contact with someone who is elderly, that is a class A misdemeanor which carries up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $4,000.
Assault against someone who works as a public servant, who is a member of your family, or who is a security officer or emergency responder, is a third degree felony. Other aggravating factors can increase charges to second-degree and first-degree felonies.
Regardless of what class of charges you face, you should absolutely consider all of your options for a defense before entering a plea.