The definition of assault varies state-to-state, but it is essentially the intent to verbally threaten or cause bodily harm to an individual. Charges for assault in Texas can vary widely from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the details of the assault.
Depending on the state, assault and battery can be combined into one charge or separated into two charges. Within Texas state law, battery and assault are combined under the single charge of assault. This means that if a case was determined to be battery, the charge would simply change to “assault” under Texas law.
Classifications of Assault
There are a multitude of classifications for what is considered assault. If an individual intentionally or negligently causes physical harm to their spouse it is considered assault. If an individual verbally threatens another with bodily injury, it is also considered assault. Additionally, there are different classifications that can increase the severity of the assault. The charge is changed completely if the victim was elderly, disabled, or a minor. Repeated cases of domestic abuse can result in increasing severity after every conviction. Assault will again change if the assault was carried out against a public servant like a police officer, firefighter, or any guard. Assault carries a wide array of charges and can cover a multitude of situations. This caveat often causes the original charge to move up from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Charges for Assault
The charges for assault vary with the degree of the crime. Assault that only consists of threats is classified as a class C misdemeanor and can result in a $500 fine. This same charge may escalate if the assault is carried out on someone elderly, resulting in a $4,000 fine or one year in jail. If there are previous repeated offences of domestic abuse the assault is charged as a third degree felony. Third degree felonies holds a penalty of 10 years in jail or a fine up to $10,000. Comparatively, if the assault causes serious bodily harm or was carried out with a weapon, it is considered aggravated assault. Assault with a deadly weapon is classified as aggravated assault and often carries a 20 year fine and can result in up to a $10,000 dollar fine. The highest charge is for assault against a public official, which is considered a first degree felony and can carry a 5 to 99 year sentence.
Ordinarily, the wide variety of charges are to cover the immense variety of assault that is carried out. Penalties for each different kind of assault conviction are severe and should not be taken lightly. Talk to an assault lawyer, like an assault lawyer in Arlington, TX, if you or someone you know has been accused of assault.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for their insight into the different levels of assault and what the charges can be.