Violent school fights are a growing trend in Texas schools. If your child is charged with a crime linked to a school fight, what should you do? Below, we’re going to detail the law, penalties, and what legal options are available to you and your child.
Rising School Violence Trend Spans the Nation
With school violence on the rise, school administrations are turning to law enforcement for help more often than in past decades. Legal consequences may be given for significant assaults – like the one in La Porte, Texas in 2016 where several teenagers were charged with assault after a fight between five males resulted in one student being sent to the hospital for injuries.
Other incidents of school violence around the country include the following:
- Three high school students in North Carolina were arrested for multiple incidents of fighting. Forty local officers were called in to break up the large fight.
- In Oregon, a fight broke out between middle school students. The police broke up the fight and told the students to go home. However, the police were called back to the scene less than an hour later because the fight had continued and escalated. Two teenagers were taken into custody and faced disorderly conduct charges. One teen allegedly waved a handgun during the second fight.
- Eleven students in Arizona were charged with aggravated assault after a conflict with staff and teachers. The teens allegedly used broomsticks as weapons in the fight.
Why School Administrators are Using Legal Intervention
Your child’s school may have policies that involve a trip to the principal’s office and detention or suspension for school fighting. However, with school assaults increasing, don’t be surprised if your child’s school administration turns to law enforcement for backup.
As in the Arizona example above, many school administrators fear that fights could spread to the teachers and staff. That’s one reason why schools are involving police help.
Additionally, with school shootings becoming more prevalent, many school administrators are taking tougher measures to keep fights under control. In the Oregon example above, a teen allegedly flashed a handgun. This kind of violence has zero tolerance in public school districts, and police are often called in for stronger enforcement.
How Texas Assault Laws Apply to School Fights
Depending on the seriousness of the fight, a child younger than 18 years old can still be tried as an adult. Penalties will be filed according to the level of assault.
Class C misdemeanor
Causing offensive physical contact or threatening bodily harm; $500 fine.
Class B misdemeanor
Assault on a sports participant during or after a sports performance; up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000.
Class A misdemeanor
Causing bodily injury to another person; up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Third degree felony
Assault on a public servant; up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated assault charges will apply if a weapon was used or serious bodily injuries occur.
Get Legal Help for Texas Assault Charges
If your child has been charged with assault, it’s imperative to contact a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We will review your case for free to determine what options may be available to get the charges reduced or dropped. Reach out to us today for your free consultation.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.