Law Office of
Rhett Braniff

Assault and Other violent Offenses

Advocacy for Your Legal Defense in Austin

If you are facing charges related to assault or any other violent offense in Austin, you need the expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of these cases. At the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, our team is dedicated to protecting your rights and providing you with aggressive advocacy throughout the legal process. With years of experience in defending clients against assault charges, we are well-equipped to handle your case with strategic expertise and unwavering commitment. Contact us today.

Understanding Assault Charges

Being accused of assault can have serious consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and a tarnished reputation. Our Austin law firm specializes in assault cases, and we understand the nuances and variations of assault charges. Whether it is simple assault, aggravated assault, or domestic violence-related assault, our experienced team will analyze every aspect of your case to build a strong defense strategy.

As an assault attorney, Rhett Braniff possesses a comprehensive understanding of assault family violence laws. He is well-versed in the complexities surrounding domestic violence cases and fiercely advocates for his client's rights. With his experience and expertise, he navigates through the legal system to ensure the most effective defense strategy.

person with fist in shadows

Assault is an offense in Texas that can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, depending on the circumstance of the offense.

Under the penal code, assault is:

  • A Class C misdemeanor offense if the allegation is that the person charged intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative or involves a threat without a weapon.
  • A Class A misdemeanor offense if the allegation is the person charged intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another. 
  • A 3rd-degree felony, if the offense involves bodily injury to a person the actor knows, is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant
  • A 3rd-degree felony if the offense involves bodily injury to a family member and the person charged has previously been convicted of assault on a family member.
  • A 2nd-degree felony, if the offense involves a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury
  • A 1st-degree felony if the offense involves a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury and the victim is a family member.
person writing on document

Why Choose Rhett Braniff as Your Legal Representation?

When it comes to defending assault charges, choosing the right attorney can make all the difference. At the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, we offer a compelling reason to choose Rhett Braniff and his team. With over 20 years of criminal law experience, including as a former prosecutor, Rhett brings a deep understanding of both sides of the courtroom. His track record of success in achieving favorable outcomes for clients speaks for itself. Rhett provides personalized attention to each client, prides himself on aggressive advocacy, and takes a client-centered approach. With Rhett Braniff, you can trust that you have a dedicated and skilled advocate who will fight vigorously to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome.

  1. If the person charged has a prior family violence finding in a previous case, the offense can be charged as a 3rd Degree Felony and has a punishment range of two to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine up to $10,000.00
  2. If the allegation is that the person impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth, regardless of whether the offense is a first offense or not, then the offense can be charged as a 2nd Degree Felony with a punishment range of two to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
  3. If the allegation is that the person charged committed the offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon against a family member, the offense can be charged as a 1st Degree Felony with a punishment range of five to 99 years or life in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine up to $10,000.00 fine.

Understanding Texas Law and Protecting Parental Rights

family icon

Parents and Children

In the state of Texas, parents have the right to discipline their children within reasonable limits, including actions that may otherwise be considered offensive to a child. At the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, we understand the importance of parental rights and the complexities surrounding cases involving parents and children. With our extensive knowledge of Texas family law, we provide dedicated legal representation to protect your rights and ensure that any legal challenges are addressed effectively.

child icon

Injury to a Child

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04, it is a felony offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by omission, causes bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.

judicial scales

Texas Penal Code Section 9.51

(a) The use of force, but not deadly force, against a child younger than 18 years is justified:

(1) if the actor is the child’s parent or stepparent or is acting in loco parentis to the child;  and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare.

(b) For purposes of this section, “in loco parentis” includes grandparent and guardian, any person acting by, through, or under the direction of a court with jurisdiction over the child, and anyone who has express or implied consent of the parent or parents.

Simply put, you are allowed to use non-deadly force to discipline your child. The question is whether the conduct was reasonable or not. Reasonable is a subjective standard and is determined by a jury. It raises some interesting questions. For example, look at this Case Study.

Protecting Your Rights Throughout the Legal Process

Our team is committed to protecting your rights at every stage of the legal process. From the initial arrest and bail hearing to negotiations with prosecutors and, if necessary, defending your case at trial, we will diligently guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system. Our priority is to ensure that your side of the story is heard and that you receive fair treatment under the law.

When you are facing assault charges, turn to the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, a trusted Austin law firm specializing in criminal defense. Our experienced assault attorney will provide the aggressive representation you need to fight for your rights, freedom, and future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us fight for you.