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When it comes to the criminal justice system, knowledge is power. It is beneficial to be aware of what defines certain criminal violations as well as the potential penalties should a person be convicted of such a violation. Many types of crimes are subdivided into levels of severity with certain aggravating factors raising the severity of the crime as well as the potential penalties. Here, we will go over how Texas law defines assault and its different levels.

What Qualifies as Assault in Texas?

Texas law defines assault generally as when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another or intentionally or knowingly threatens another with bodily injury. It also includes when a person intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with someone else when the perpetrator of the contact knows or should reasonably know that such contact would be offensive.

There are several classes of assault misdemeanors, the lowest of which is a Class C misdemeanor. This type of assault is standard or simple assault with no aggravating factors present when there is a threat of bodily harm or offensive physical contact. Class B misdemeanor assault is assault that occurs in the sports arena and Class A misdemeanor assault occurs when there is bodily injury to another or if there is offensive contact with an elderly individual.

There are also felony assaults. A third degree felony assault is an assault that is committed against certain classes of people, including:

  • Public servants in their official capacity
  • Family members and household members
  • A government contractor acting in their official duties
  • Emergency services personnel while providing emergency services
  • Security officers performing within their scope of duties

Second degree felony assault is assault that is committed against a family member, household member, or someone the perpetrator was in a dating relationship with. The defendant must have been previously convicted of a similar offense against such an individual and the offense must have been committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly choking the person. Second degree felony assault also includes aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault is an assault that results in serious injury or one where a weapon was used in the commission of the assault. Serious injury is defined as a long-term injury and can include:

  • Bone fracturs
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Permanent disability

A weapon, for purposes of aggravated assault, is defined as any object that is used to inflict serious bodily injury or death. Therefore, deadly weapons include:

  • Firearms
  • Knives
  • Rope
  • Bricks or rocks
  • Baseball bats

The penalties for assault are steep and run a wide range. Fines for assault can run from $500 up to $10,000. A sentence for an assault conviction can also include up to five years in prison.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are facing an assault charge, time is of the essence. Do not hesitate to reach out to the dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz who will tirelessly defend you against all charges. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.