What to do about a potential assault and battery charge?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about a potential assault and battery charge?

I recently got in a fight with my ex-brother-in-law. He was helping my ex-girlfriend move out of my house. They had finished and I told him to leave and he just laughed at me. I hit him once and he went down; I didn’t hit him anymore. Now they are telling me that they are going to press charges. What do I do? Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? In Houston, TX.

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assault and battery are both criminal and civil, which means that in addition to criminal charges being filed, you could also be sued (civil case).

Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Assault does not require any physical contact (battery).

Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of another without consent or legal privilege. 

If criminal charges are filed, it would be advisable to speak with a criminal law attorney.  If a lawsuit is filed, it would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.  Your County Bar Association may have a lawyer referral service which could give you the names of criminal defense attorneys and personal injury attorneys.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney, since you did commit assault. Furtheremore, at a glance, it appears you do not have any defense, since having been laughed out is *not* in any way, shape, or form a justification for hitting someone. Therefore, your best bet, if charges are in fact brought against you, will  probably be to try to negotiate to a lesser offense or punishment, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can definitely help you do that. Also be aware that your ex-brother-in-law may be able to sue you, too, such as for medical costs, lost wages (if he missed work), and if you did substantial or lasting damage (e.g. broke his nose badly), for some amount of pain and suffering, too.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption