In Texas, assault and battery charges are treated the same under the law. This might seem confusing since other states view them as two separate crimes. However, in Texas, they are treated the same way because the two offenses are very similar, and both result in bodily injury.
Here is a breakdown of how Texas handles assault and battery cases, which are collectively referred to as “assault.”
Assault Definitions, Classifications, and Penalties
A person can be charged with assault if they knowingly and recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, threatens harm, or causes physical contact that they know is unwelcome or offensive.
There are six classifications of assault that each come with their own penalties.
Class C misdemeanors occur when a person threatens someone with, or causes, physical contact with a person in an offensive way. In a Class 3 misdemeanor, there can be no other aggravating factors involved. The penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500.
A Class B misdemeanor is when a person commits an assault against someone during a sporting event, while participating in the game, as a retaliation. If found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, you could face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
Class A misdemeanors describe when someone causes bodily injury to another, and no other factors are present. This is also the Classification for causing harm to an elderly person. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
A third-degree felony is when someone knowingly assaults a public servant in which they are on official duty, a family member or household member, government employee, or emergency personnel. If found guilty of a third-degree felony, you could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
A second-degree felony involves assault committed against a family member, spouse, or partner. It can also pertain to a defendant who has been previously convicted of a similar offense. A second-degree felony conviction comes with 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The most severe felony is a first-degree felony, which can also be known as an aggravated assault. A crime is considered aggravated assault if there are weapons used in the assault and/or it results in serious injury. A crime is considered a first-degree felony if it is considered aggravated assault of someone who you are in a domestic partnership with, a public official, an emergency worker, or a witness or informant to a crime.
If you’re found guilty of a first-degree felony, you face a potential life sentence in prison plus a fine as determined by the judge.
The best way to fully understand the details of your conviction is to talk to a qualified lawyer who can answer specific questions about your case.
If you’ve been convicted of assault in Houston, call the offices of Christopher T. Gore for more information on how he can help.