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What Makes an Assault Charge in Texas Different From Other States?

Posted on in Assault

Collin County aggravated assault defense attorney

Arguments between strangers or even family members can often lead to heated disputes that may result in physical confrontations. Statistics show that assault is one of the most common types of violent crimes committed in the United States. Many people think an assault is a physical attack on someone, but it can also just be the threat of inflicting violence. It is important to know and understand the laws concerning assault in Texas, because you never know when incidents might escalate. If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, a skilled criminal defense attorney can ensure your rights are protected in a court of law. 

Assault in Texas: An Umbrella Term

Many states have defined “assault” as merely threatening or attempting to commit harmful acts upon another person. The actual act of harming someone is defined as a “battery” charge. In Texas, the two crimes are combined into one single offense. All of the following actions are classified as assault (in this case, “simple assault”):

  • Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm to someone else

  • Intentionally threatening someone with physical harm

  • Intentionally making physical contact with someone else that could be taken as offensive or otherwise provoke the other person to take action

Notice that what would be called “battery” in other states is simply called “assault” here in Texas. In that sense, if you are charged with assault, that does not mean the severity of your punishment will be the same. On the contrary, since the types and degrees of assault are so varied due to the expansive definition of the term, the charges, penalties, and punishments for assault in Texas may include:

  • Class C misdemeanors, with up to a $500 fine

  • Class B misdemeanors, with up to a $2,000 fine or 180 days in jail or both

  • Class A misdemeanors, with up to a $4,000 fine or one year in jail or both

  • Second-degree felonies, with up to $10,000 in fines and 20 years in prison

In addition, it is worth noting that the assault definitions above refer to “simple assault” in Texas. The crime of “aggravated assault” carries with it much more severe charges, penalties, and punishments. In order for an assault to be considered “aggravated,” the assault must include either of the following:

  • Possession or use of a deadly weapon

  • Serious, long-term injuries to the victim

Contact a Collin County Assault Defense Lawyer

Although situations can become heated, people in Texas need to be much more vigilant about what they both say and do in retaliation. While it might seem like simply saying something to someone would not get you in trouble with the law, the truth is, a mere threat of assault in Texas can have serious legal repercussions. If you are facing assault charges, the talented team at the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. will review your case and develop a winning strategy for you. Call a McKinney criminal defense attorney today at 469-333-3333 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=316

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