Under Texas law, the elements assault and battery are not differentiated;
other states may categorize the elements as separate charges, but in our
state, these elements are all considered assault crimes. Not all forms
of physical violence committed against another person are considered
assault, under the law. However, assault and aggravated assault all share these
Prosecutors have the burden to prove that the following occurred:
- The accused person willfully knew he or she would cause harm to another person
- The accused person willfully intended to threaten harm toward another person
- The accused person willfully gained physical contact with another person
in an offensive or provocative manner
The penalties for conviction can vary, depending on the circumstances of
the alleged crime. The judge may evaluate certain elements about the defendant.
Such criteria may concern the relationship the accused person, or defendant,
had to the victim, whether or not he or she has had previous convictions,
and the degree of violence that took place, i.e., if he or she strangled
What Are the Penalties for Assault?
Are you being accused of committing assault? Understandably, you will want
to know what penalties you could face and what could this mean for your
future prospects. The law is relatively lenient for first-time offenders.
Although habitual offenders who have a substantial criminal past may be
subject to harsher penalties. A simple assault charge is categorized as
a Class A misdemeanor. The victim may have sustained minor injuries.
These are the possible penalties for a Class A misdemeanor assault conviction:
- Fine of $4, 000
- Up to 1 year in jail
When the simple assault charge involves threats or touching of another
person, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor. This can carry a fine
of up to $500. There are also some assault charges that are classified
as third-degree felonies. Such assault cases are the types committed against
a government official, an emergency worker, or it is an act of domestic
violence when the individual has had previous convictions on record.
For a third-degree felony assault conviction, one could face the following
- $10, 000 fine
- Maximum 10 years in prison
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is an elevated form of assault, as it will usually involve
serious injuries, or there was a deadly weapon used to commit the crime.
The law defines “deadly weapon” rather broadly, but essentially,
any instrument or device that can cause serious injury or be lethal may
be considered a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is considered a second-degree
These are the following penalties for a second-degree felony aggravated
- Fines up to $10, 000
- Imprisonment for 2-20 years
Assault Involving a Family Member
In Texas, one of the most common assault allegations often involves a family
member. This is a Class A misdemeanor and is titled “Assault Causes
Bodily Injury Involving a Family Member.” Crimes extend to husbands
and wives, children, and others who live in the same households.
The penalties for assault involving a family member may include:
- Fine up to $4, 000
- Up to 1 year in jail
Even though family violence assault cases are classified as Class A misdemeanors,
the consequences of a conviction can still have a devastating effect.
The convicted person may experience strained or even destroyed familial
relationships, and many rights and opportunities can be taken away, such
as the ability to to apply for certain professional licenses. There may
be several defenses available, fortunately, provided that you have an
experienced attorney argue on your behalf. Perhaps there is a justifiable
reason for the act, demonstrating that it was necessary to protect oneself.
What Defenses Are Available to Me?
The common denominator with regards to assault and aggravated assault cases
is that there are at least two people involved: the victim and a witness.
Part of our job as Austin criminal defense attorneys is to gather the
necessary evidence, including witness testimonials, to aid in your defense,
right at the onset. Their statements may prove to be shaky or unreliable
if interviewed at a later stage, and they may even change or omit details,
which can reduce some witness believability during trial.
There are a variety of other
defenses that may apply to your case. These may include self-defense, acting in
defense of another or your property, or that the defendant believed that
the alleged victim consented to the act. We urge you to discuss the particulars
of your case with an Austin criminal attorney to
provide you with further insight.
Get Defense Now—Contact Us!
Hines Ranc & Holub is familiar with all of the laws, and we can use
this knowledge to build a case to your advantage. We are also tenacious
litigators, as well, with an imposing courtroom demeanor, ready to anticipate
and challenge prosecuting arguments.
We possess a combined 85 years of experience.
Request your free, confidential case evaluation
today and call (512) 309-5220.