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Houston Assault Attorney

Assault Attorney With 38 Years of Experience

Are you looking for an experienced Houston assault attorney to help you defend assault and aggravated assault charges? With over 38 years of experience, assault defense attorneys John P. Keirnan and Michael Mercer provide aggressive criminal defense for all assault charges, including family violence charges, assault bodily injury, aggravated assault charges and sexual assault charges. We protect our clients from false allegations and work closely with them to make sure their side of the story is heard. 

The accused in an assault case rarely gets the chance to tell their side of the story before being arrested, leaving the police officer to do his own storytelling. Houston assault attorney John Keirnan is not intimidated by the police. He works side by side with each client to make sure that their side of the story is heard. Discuss your assault or aggravated assault charge with an experienced Houston assault defense attorney. Call 713-236-9700 for a free consultation.

Free 24/7 Consultations

Experienced Houston Assault Lawyer

(713) 236-9700

Houston Assault Attorney

  Assault Attorney Casey Keirnan Stands Up Against False Accusations

Defense Attorney for Aggravated Assault Charges

If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, take advantage of our free consultation services and contact a knowledgeable defense attorney for aggravated assault charges at (713) 236-9700. 


Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon is a second degree felony. A person commits aggravated assault with a deadly weapon if that person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault. Nearly any object can qualify as a deadly weapon depending on how it is used. If alleged to have been committed against a "family member", the accused could face charges of Aggravated Assault on a Family Member. Contact a Houston Assault Defense Attorney at (713) 236-9700 to find out how to defend your aggravated assault case.


Aggravated Assault with serious bodily injury is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine. "Serious bodily injury" is injury that creates a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. 

Mercer and Keirnan

Lawyer for Assault Family Member Charges

Client Reviews


Average Rating: 5 out of 5 (11 reviews)


"I hired Mercer and Keirnan because of their experience handling DWIs and other charges.  Working closely with them throughout my case, it became very clear that I had made the right decision..."

by T. M. December 30, 2018


"Never been in trouble before and now I couldn't bond out of jail and had a court appointed lawyer who gave me little hope. I found defense attorney Casey Keirnan and Michael Mercer because of their experience as a theft defense lawyer. They replaced my court appointed attorney and everything changed."

by D. O. August 27, 2018


"I hired a top Houston drug lawyer with Mercer and Keirnan to defend my possession of a Controlled Substance Case. After a free consultation with Criminal defense attorney Michael Mercer, Mercer and Keirnan signed on to my case and after a few months my felony drug charge was dismissed!"

by RG One February 5, 2019

Assault Family Member charges, also known as "assault family violence", are among the most common types of assault charges. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer for assault family member charges is extremely important. Domestic violence charges are prosecuted very aggressively in Houston and Harris County, whether or not the victim or complaining witness wishes to drop the charges. 

Assault Family Member, or "Family Violence", is defined broadly in section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code. The state of Texas can file assault on a family member charges even if the victim is not a member of your family or someone you have dated. An assault can become an assault family member charge if committed against any of the following people:

  • a spouse, girlfriend, or former spouse or girlfriend;

  • someone with whom you share a child with;

  • a roommate or someone you live with;

  • your child or your parent.

Anyone searching for a criminal defense lawyer for assault family member charges or aggravated assault on a family member should speak with an experienced assault lawyer before appearing in court. There are often defenses to domestic violence charges that an experienced assault defense attorney can use to get your case dismissed.


Houston assault lawyer John "Casey" Keirnan has over 38 years of experience defending assault family member charges and family violence charges. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with assault on a family member, consult an experienced assault family member attorney at (713) 236-9700. Mercer and Keirnan is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Free 24/7 Case Evaluations

Experienced Assault Attorney

(713) 236-9700

Misdemeanor Assault Definition

Under Texas Penal Code §22.01, a person commits a misdemeanor Assault offense if the person:

              (1) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;

              (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury; or

              (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the

                  person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the

                  contact as offensive or provocative.

The definition of Assault under paragraph (1) is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. An assault under paragraphs (2) and (3) is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only, not to exceed $500. A misdemeanor assault charge can become felony aggravated assault if a deadly weapon is involved or if serious bodily injury results.

The trouble with many assault cases is that the police usually don't arrive until after the incident occurs. The police officer can't possibly know the entire story, and too often the wrong person is arrested. Often only one side of the story is heard. As an experienced Houston assault attorney, John P. Keirnan will make sure that your voice isn't drowned out by your accusers.

Defenses to an Assault Charge

Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code establishes Self Defense as a defense to an assault charge or aggravated assault charge. When defending yourself, you may only use “reasonable force” and only when immediately necessary. Words alone are not enough to invoke the right to self defense. However, when taken in context with the person's actions, threatening words may warrant the use of self defense.

Defending Aggravated Assault on a Family Member charges requires extensive knowledge and experience of the law. The state must prove every element of an assault case beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes the evidence simply is not sufficient to meet the state's burden of proof.


The defense of consent is also a defense to an assault or aggravated assault charge, but may not be available for a felony assault with a deadly weapon charge. The term "mutual combat" is a common term used to show that both actors engaged each other and consented to the assault. Significant investigation is often required to successfully defend assault charges. Call an experienced Houston aggravated assault attorney at Mercer & Keirnan Criminal Attorneys for a free consultation.

Common Questions about Your Assault Case

Can the victim in an assault case drop the charges?

No. Only the district attorney can dismiss an assault case once charges have been filed. Before doing so, however, the district attorney will want to speak with the victim to obtain facts about the alleged assault and determine whether those facts are sufficient to prove that an assault occurred.

Can I get an assault charge off of my record?

If the case was dismissed, or if a jury found you not guilty, you are eligible to have the assault charge expunged from your record. You may also be eligible to petition the court for a non-disclosure, or "sealing", of the assault charge if you completed a deferred adjudication probation. Assault-family member charges are not eligible for a non-disclosure, even after a deferred adjudication. Assault-family member charges may only be expunged if the case was dismissed or resulted in a "not guilty" verdict. Hire an experienced assault attorney to give yourself the best chance of having any assault charge removed from your record.

What if I have witnesses to show I was falsely accused?

Many times in an assault case, the police fail to interview all the witnesses that saw what happened. These witnesses can often shed light on facts that are not in the original police report. If you have witnesses that you think can help your assault case, give their information to your assault defense attorney who can communicate this evidence to the district attorney. Never approach a district attorney or prosecutor by yourself without an attorney. The prosecutor is not there to help you exonerate yourself and may use anything you say against you should your case go to trial. Have your lawyer, preferably an experienced assault lawyer, interview these witnesses and obtain their statements.

Contact an Experienced Houston Assault Attorney

We provide our confidential consultation services free of charge to anyone facing charges of misdemeanor assault, felony assault, assault-family member, aggravated assault or any other misdemeanor or felony assault charge, contact experienced Houston assault attorney Casey Keirnan for a free evaluation.

Call 713-236-9700 for a free quote from an experienced Houston Assault Defense Attorney.

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Assault Charge?

Many people facing an assault charge ask the question, "Do I need a lawyer for an assault or aggravated assault charge?" The answer is a resounding "Yes". In many cases, there is not enough evidence to prove that an assault occurred. The prosecuting attorney will go to great lengths to convince you that they have the evidence to obtain a guilty verdict. Without the knowledge and the reputation of an experienced assault lawyer, the accused in an assault case stands little chance against the prosecutor. Without a lawyer, the accused will not be taken seriously by either the judge or the prosecutor.


A lawyer who is experienced in defending assault and aggravated assault charges will know exactly what the prosecutor needs to prove their case against you and will expose the weaknesses of their case against you. With over 38 years of experience as assault defense attorneys, Mercer & Keirnan will make sure that you aren't found guilty of false accusations of assault.

"Lawyer of the Year"

Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (2014)

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