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"Lawyer of the Year"

Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (2014)

Houston Assault Attorney

Assault Attorney With 40 Years of Experience

Are you looking for an experienced Houston assault attorney to help you defend assault, assault on a family member or aggravated assault charges? Are you a family member who wants to learn how to drop assault charges against a loved one?


With over 40 years of experience, Houston assault defense attorneys John P. Keirnan and Michael Mercer provide aggressive criminal defense for assault charges in and around Harris County, Texas.

Houston Assault Attorney

  Assault Lawyer Casey Keirnan Stands Up Against False Accusations

Types of Assault Charges 

Assault Charge Lawyers Get Your Story Heard

At Mercer & Keirnan, we protect our clients from false assault 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 charge lawyers Michael Mercer and John "Casey" Keirnan will get your story heard. We are not intimidated by the police. We work side by side with each client to make sure that their side of the story is heard.


Learn more about how to defend your assault, assault on a family member or aggravated assault case and schedule a free consultation with a Houston assault attorney with 40 years of experience. Call 713-236-9700 for a free consultation.

Free 24/7 Consultations

(713) 236-9700

Defense Attorney for Aggravated Assault Charges in Houston

Are you looking for an experienced defense attorney for aggravated assault charges in Houston? Mercer & Keirnan are top criminal defense attorneys with over 40 years defending aggravated assault charges in and around Harris County. If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault, take advantage of our free consultation services or call 713-236-9700 to speak directly with Houston Assault Attorneys Casey Keirnan and Michael D. Mercer.

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon

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, including guns, knives, vehicles or metal poles. In one case, our client was charged with aggravated assault by using a motorcycle helmet!

If alleged to have been committed against a "family member", the accused could face charges of Aggravated Assault on a Family Member. Speak directly with assault attorneys Michael Mercer or Casey Keirnan by calling (713) 236-9700 and learn the best defense for your aggravated assault charge.

Client Reviews


Average Rating: 5 out of 5 (11 reviews)


"Michael Mercer and Casey Keirnan are some of the best criminal defense attorneys in Houston. I was facing an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge in Harris County and they got this felony assault case dismissed outright with no probation. Anyone charged with assault or aggravated assault in Houston should strongly consider calling Mercer and Keirnan Criminal Defense Attorneys. I couldn’t be happier with how they handled my case!"

by H. I. March 8, 2024


"Michael Mercer is a personal, professional, empathetic, diligent, caring and hard working who has the optimum interests of his clients at heart. He recently represented me in an assault family member case against me. Constantly assured me when I was down there was no evidence against me. He worked hard to have all cases dismissed in a lightning speed of time."

by A. O. January 29, 2024


DISMISSED! Super thankful for the team here at Mercer & Keirnan! It was a long two year battle with the state but they kept pushing and gave me a outcome I'd never thought I'd get! They handled four felony cases which one of them was a aggravated assault w/ deadly weapon, three of them ( including the aggravated assault) were dismissed and was only given probation for a much lesser charge! Only 1-2 years with no conditions, from facing 12 - 20 years in tdcj to 1-2 years probation I can say my money and trust was very well spent! Thank you again guys!

by. Christopher E. July 11, 2022

Aggravated Assault-Serious Bodily Injury

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. A punch in the eye could cause permanent loss of vision and would probably result in Aggravated Assault-serious bodily injury charges being filed.

Mercer and Keirnan

Lawyer for Assault Family Member Charges in Houston

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. Assault-family member 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. 

Who can be considered a "family member" in Texas?

  • 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 top 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. We can also help to amend protective orders and Magistrate's Orders of Emergency Protection (MOEP).


Houston assault lawyer John "Casey" Keirnan has over 40 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 for Assault Family Member Charges

(713) 236-9700


"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

Houston Misdemeanor Assault Attorney

With over 40 years of experience defending misdemeanor assault and assault on a family member in Houston and Harris County, the Misdemeanor assault attorneys at Mercer & Keirnan provide high quality defense to clients charged with misdemeanor assault in Houston. 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 charge, 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. Get a free consultation with a Houston Misdemeanor assault attorney today and learn how to beat assault and assault family member charges in Houston.

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.

Mutual Combat or Consent

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 of Assault?

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.


An assault 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 40 years of experience as assault defense attorneys, Mercer & Keirnan will make sure that you aren't found guilty of false accusations of assault.

Penalties for Assault Charges in Texas

The penalties for assault charges in Texas can range anywhere from a fine to up to 20 years in prison, depending on the exact assault charge you are facing. Additionally, if you are charged with felony aggravated assault, the state can use a previous felony conviction to enhance the punishment range to a first degree felony, which is 5 to 99 years or life in prison. Read below for the exact penalties for your assault charge in Texas.

Assault-Bodily Injury

  • Class A Misdemeanor - 0 to 365 days in jail and up to $4,000 fine

Assault on a Family Member

  • Class A Misdemeanor - 0 to 365 days in jail and up to $4,000 fine

Assault-Family Member w/ Previous Conviction

  • 3rd Degree felony - 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon

  • 2nd Degree Felony - 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

Aggravated Assault-Serious Bodily Injury

  • 2nd Degree Felony - 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

Assault-Impeding Breath (Assault-Choking)

  • 3rd Degree felony - 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

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