In Texas, battery doesn’t exist as a criminal charge. Instead, there are varying degrees of assault charges that take into account whether or not an alleged victim sustained bodily harm.
In other states, “battery” may be an accompanying charge to assault, where the latter refers to threatening someone with imminent bodily harm. Texas doesn’t make this distinction in its terminology: An assault is threatening to cause bodily injury to someone else or actually doing so, whether intentionally or recklessly.
For example, raising a fist at someone may be considered assault because it implies a threat of bodily harm. Telling someone you’ll put them in the hospital while raising a fist may be a clearer assault charge. Actually following through on either of those threats with physical violence can worsen the penalties of an assault conviction, or even lead to aggravated assault charges.
Penalties for Assault in Texas
Most assault charges in Texas are for simple assault, which is a Class A Misdemeanor – the most serious level of misdemeanor.
A conviction for this charge can mean facing up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. While it’s up to the judge’s discretion how to penalize a conviction in any given case, those convicted of assault who did not physically harm the victim may be unlikely to face more than a fine or comparatively less severe jail sentence.
Penalties for Aggravated assault
When someone is charged with aggravated assault, they are most likely accused of causing someone serious bodily harm and/or using a weapon during an assault. Aggravated assault is a much more serious offense than simple assault, rising to the level of a second-degree felony.
Penalties for an aggravated assault conviction may include 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In cases where the aggravated assault occurred as an act of domestic violence, it may be charged as a second-degree felony. A first-degree felony may be charged if a weapon was involved.
We Can Help You Defend Against Assault Charges
Assault is a serious legal charge. Don’t let an inexperienced criminal defense attorney handle your case – you need the level of professionalism and skill that we at The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC can provide.
We can help you defend against your assault charges if you were defending yourself, someone else, or your property. It may be possible to help you avoid a conviction or reduce your charges, but you must contact us as soon as possible for assistance.
Get started now by calling (956) 606-3606 and requesting your initial consultation with us.