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By Benson Varghese

Published on: May 10th, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Last Updated: March 14th, 2020 at 12:05 PM

Pursuant to Penal Code Section 22.01(a)-(b), assault on a public servant is the intentional, knowing, or reckless causation of bodily injury of a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation to the exercise of official power of a public servant. In other words, assault on a public servant is an assault charge with two additional elements: knowing the person is a public servant and while the public servant was lawfully discharging an official duty.

What is the punishment for Assault Public Servant?

Assault on a Public Servant is a third degree felony so the punishment range is a two to ten years in prison. A fine of up to $10,000 can also be imposed. The Statute of Limitations for Assault on a Public Servant is three years in Texas.

Presumption of Knowledge

Penal Code Section 22.01(d) creates a presumption that the actor knew the person assaulted was a public servant if the person was wearing a distinctive uniform or badge indicating the person’s employment as a public servant or status as a security officer or emergency services personnel.

Who is a Public Servant?

A public servant is a person who is employed, appointed, or elected as a:

  • A police officer;
  • An employee of the government;
  • An agent of the government;
  • A juror or grand juror;
  • An attorney performing a government function;
  • A candidate for public office; etc.

What is Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant?

Pursuant to Penal Code 22.02 If the assault on a public servant causes serious bodily injury of the public servant or involved the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, the offense becomes Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant. Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant is a First Degree felony in Texas. The punishment can be up to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

What is the Statute of Limitations for this type of charge?

The Statute of Limitations for Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant is three years in Texas.

What is Harassment of a Public Servant?

Pursuant to Penal Code Section 22.11, harassment of a public servant is when a person, with the intent to assault, harass, or alarm the public servant, causes the public servant to be contacted by blood, semen, vaginal fluid, urine or feces knowing the person is a public servant and while the public servant was lawfully discharging an official duty.

Harassment of a Public Servant is a third degree felony so the punishment range is a two to ten years in prison. A fine of up to $10,000 can also be imposed. The Statute of Limitations for Harassment of a Public Servant is three years in Texas.

Defend Against Allegations of Assault on a Public Servant in Fort Worth

Understand that any allegation of assaulting a public servant is going to be taken seriously. Other officers, the filing detective, and the prosecutor is likely to assume the worst. We carefully analyze the State’s evidence to see if the elements of the offense can actually be met. Among our dismissed cases are ones where found favorable video or audio proof that our client was not guilty of the offense charged. Similarly finding witnesses and securing statements can be vital in your defense. Ultimately, both Assault on a Public Servant and Aggravated Assault are serious felony offenses and must be presented to the grand jury for indictment. In most cases that is the first real opportunity to terminate the prosecution. There are two important things to remember. First and foremost, do not give any statements to the police. Second, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to proactively begin defending the case against you.