The penalties for a Texas assault depend on the seriousness of the alleged attack. The first key distinction to make is whether it’s a simple assault or an aggravated assault.
Assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The range of penalties can go from a fine or community service to as long as 10 years in jail.
What is a Simple Texas Assault?
In Texas, you can commit a simple assault if you:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to the victim;
- Knowingly or intentionally threatened another individual with imminent bodily injury, or
- intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact to somebody else when the offender knows or reasonably should know the victim would find it provocative or offensive.
Some people protest that they didn’t touch the “victim” after an assault charge. Even if there was no physical contact, you can be charged with assault. In the context of assault by threat, the term “bodily injury” means anything that causes pain, even if no mark is left.
Simple assault is normally a Class C misdemeanor. However, the offense is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the victim is disabled or elderly.
If the offender knows the victim is an athlete or a sports official who is assaulted at a sporting event, it’s a Class B misdemeanor.
A domestic assault can be a third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor Texas assault, the likely sentence depends on the class of assault. Here are the possible sentences
- Class A misdemeanor – The offender faces up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4000, or both
- A Class B misdemeanor – up to 180 days in jail or a fine of $2000 or less, or both, and
- Class C misdemeanor – a fine up to $500.
If you are convicted of a third-degree felony you can be sentenced to two to ten years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
What is An Aggravated Texas Assault?
We talk about aggravated assault in Texas on our website. Under Section 22.02 of the Texas penal code, you can commit and aggravated assault if:
- You intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused serious bodily injury to another person, or
- You used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the assault, including threatening another person with bodily injury or taking part in conduct that the victim likely will find offensive.
Felony aggravated assault or carrying out an assault with a weapon is a second-degree felony punishable. It can lead to by 2 to 20 years’ incarceration.
A first-degree felony aggravated assault charge can be brought if the offender uses a deadly weapon and causes a serious bodily injury to the victim.
There is a list of classifications under the Texas Penal Code. Committing serious bodily injury to a family member constitutes a first-degree felony. This also applies to someone the offender has had a relationship with. The Texas assault falls into this category if it’s committed against a public servant such as a police officer, a security guard or a witness to a crime.
You can expect to spend five to 99 years in jail if convicted of a first-degree assault felony. You can be fined up to $10,000.
Any assault can be serious for your future life and liberty. These offenses can land you in jail for a long time. You should contact an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney after an assault charge. Contact Peek & Toland here.