Many people, magazines, or newspapers use assault and battery interchangeably. However, in the eyes of Texas Law, assault and battery are two different criminal offenses. Both assault and battery are punishable by severe penalties or jail time, but the final charges depend on the intention, amount of bodily contact, or degree of damage or harm.
In this article, we will first understand the Texas definition of assault and battery and then, explain the first-time charges.
What is Assault in Texas?
Assault is when another person feels threatened with harm or injury by you. Assault is also liable if the other person is in immediate fear as a result of the attacker’s actions. For example, if an attacker tried to throw an object or hit someone with a car but missed, it would also come under assault charges, and the felon would be questionable by law.
On the other hand, if a person harms someone or their actions injures someone with or without a weapon, they will have to face charges of aggravated assault. The prosecuting attorney will consider various factors and decide on a fair punishment. However, if the assault is intentional, the charges could change into battery.
What is Battery in Texas?
Battery is a more severe action committed by a person, which can be an intentional assault, including bodily contact. It may or may not seriously harm a person, but physical force or blunt trauma can cause injury.
First-Time Assault and Battery Charges in Texas
If a person does not have any criminal record or file, the only thing that evaluates a first-time assault and battery charge is the degree of assault. For example, seriously injuring someone with a weapon is a first-degree felony, whereas threatening a person up to the point of fear and assault is a Class C misdemeanor. However, both are punishable by the Law. The punishment and charges for assault and battery are:
- Class C misdemeanor: It involves threatening someone with bodily harm. For this offense, the person has to pay a $500 fine with zero jail time.
- Class A misdemeanor: It involves causing someone physical harm or injury with offensive contact. For this offense, the attacker has to pay a $4,000 fine, and the degree of harm decides the jail time (maximum one year).
- Third-Degree Felony: It involves serious assault causing physical harm that may or may not result in obstruction or a concussion. For this offense, the felon has to pay a $10,000 fine, and the degree of harm decides the jail time (maximum of 10 years). The exact charges would apply to assault against an elected official or civil servant.
- Second-Degree Felony: It involves serious assault that leads to physical or bodily injury. For this offense, the felon has to pay a $10,000 fine, and the degree of harm decides the jail time (maximum of 20 years). The exact charges will apply if the felon uses a weapon for attack or if the assault is against a peace officer.
- First-Degree Felony: It involves serious provocative assault against a policeman, public official, or a police witness or an informant. For this offense, the felon has to pay a $10,000 fine, and the degree of harm may lead to a life sentence in prison.
The punishments for assault and battery are very serious in Texas. They are based on the degree of harm or the intent of the person. For example, if you pushed someone to save him from an oncoming vehicle or to save someone from suicide, you may not have to pay a fine or see the insides of a jail cell. If you think you are wrongfully accused by the state or any person, call a Houston assault lawyer in Texas. They know how to manage your case in court and prove that you are innocent.
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