Assault - Public Servant

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Tarrant County Assault on a Public Servant Criminal Defense Attorney

Dedicated Assault Criminal Defense in Tarrant County and the Dallas – Fort Worth Area

Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code Section 22.01 Assault specifically lists a variety of prohibited conduct generally referred to as assault, such as, simple assault, assault causing bodily injury, assault against a public servant, and assault impeding breath or circulation. 

Under Texas law, special groups of people, like public servants, security officers, and hospital personnel, receive additional protection. Assault causing bodily injury to a person included within these special groups will qualify for an enhanced punishment range. 

Due to the enhanced nature of these assaultive offenses, you need a dedicated criminal defense lawyer to defend you, your rights, and your freedom. The Tarrant County Assault Criminal Defense Attorneys with The Law Office of David Sloane are ready to fight for you!

Assault on a Public Servant – Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(1)

Pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(1), a person commits the criminal offense of assault on a public servant if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a public servant and the person knows the other person is a public servant 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. 

Bodily injury is defined under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(a)(8) as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

A public servant is defined under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(41) as any person elected, selected, appointed, employed, or otherwise designated as:

  • An officer, employee, or agent of government;
  • A juror or grand juror; 
  • An arbitrator, referee, or other person who is authorized by law or private written agreement to hear or determine a cause or controversy;
  • An attorney at law or notary public when participating in the performance of a governmental function;
  • A candidate for nomination or election to public office; or
  • A person who is performing a governmental function under a claim of right, although he is not legally qualified to do so.

Assault on a Public Servant is a Third-Degree Felony, punishable between two to ten years in prison and fine up to $10,000. To learn more about Third-Degree Felonies, visit Do I Need a Lawyer for a Third-Degree Felony in Texas?

Assault on a Peace Officer or Judge – Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b-2)

Under Texas Penal Code §22.01(b-2), a person commits assault on a peace officer or judge if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a peace officer or judge and the person knows the other person is a peace officer or judge who is lawfully discharging an official duty or done in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a peace officer or judge.

Assault on a Peace Officer or Judge is a Second-Degree Felony, punishable between two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. To learn more about Second-Degree Felonies, visit Tarrant County Felony Criminal Defense Attorney.

Assault on Other Protected Groups of People

Texas criminal law also protects other special groups of people and enhances Assault causing Bodily Injury punishment, traditionally a Class A Misdemeanor punishable up to one year in the county jail and a fine up to $4,000, to a Third-Degree Felony, punishable between two to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, if committed against the following persons:

  • Assault on a Security Officer (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(4)) – A person commits the offense of assault on a security officer if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a known security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer. The term security officer includes all commissioned security officers, or non-commissioned security officers registered under the occupations code.
  • Assault on Emergency Services Personnel (Texas Penal Code §22.01(b)(5)) – A person commits the offense of assault on emergency services personnel if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a known emergency services person while the person is providing emergency services. Emergency services personnel include firefighters, emergency room personnel, and others who provide services for the benefit of the general public during an emergency situation.
  • Assault on a Process Server (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(6)) – A person commits the offense of assault on a process server if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a known process server while the process server is performing a duty as a process server.
  • Assault on Hospital Personnel (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(9)) – A person commits the offense of assault on hospital personnel if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to hospital personnel while the hospital personnel is located on hospital property. Hospital personnel include nurses, physicians, assistants, and staff who are employed by or work in a licensed hospital.

Common Assault Defenses

Even if your actions meet the legal elements necessary to support a conviction for assault, you may have a legal defense to protect you. Common assault defenses include:

  • Lack of Intent – A person may argue that they did not know the alleged victim was a part of a specially protected group. However, the actor is presumed to have known the person assaulted was a public servant, a security officer, or emergency services personnel if the person was wearing a distinctive uniform or badge indicating the person’s employment as a public servant or status as security officer or emergency services personnel pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 22.01(d). 
  • Self-Defense (Texas Penal Code § 9.31) – A person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use of unlawful force.
  • Defense of Others (Texas Penal Code § 9.33) – A person is justified in using force against another to protect a third person if the actor would be justified in using force to protect themselves against the unlawful force he seeks to protect the third party from and if intervention is immediately necessary. 
  • Consent (Texas Penal Code § 22.06) – The victim’s effective or apparent consent to the actor’s conduct is a defense to assault if the conduct did not threaten or inflict serious bodily injury. This is also commonly referred to as mutual combat. 

How to Fight - Contact Us for a Free Consultation with our Tarrant County Assault Criminal Defense Lawyers

Due to the enhanced punishment range related to assault on a public servant, peace officer, judge, security officer, emergency services personnel, and hospital personnel, you need an exceptional criminal defense attorney. A felony assault conviction carries severe potential consequences, such as prison, future criminal liability enhancements, and a life-long felony conviction. The Tarrant County Assault Criminal Defense Attorneys with The Law Office of David Sloane are here for you! 

Our Tarrant County Assault Criminal Defense Lawyers have helped thousands of clients fight Assault related cases in Tarrant County and throughout the greater Dallas – Fort Worth Area, such as: 


Contact us today at (817) 349-7118 for a FREE Consultation with the Tarrant County Assault Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Law Offices of David Sloane!

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