Assault is a criminal charge involving intentional, knowing, and/or reckless bodily injury. In other words, it is violence or physical force by one person against another or a threat of imminent physical harm. There are different types of assault charges in Texas, all with severe consequences for anyone convicted of the crime. Read on for a brief overview of assault charges in the Lone Star State.


Types of Assault Charges in Texas

Assaultive offenses in Texas can result in charges that can be classified into various categories, depending on the severity and circumstances of the alleged offense. The classification assigned might be anything from simple assault to aggravated assault to assault family violence.


Simple assault involves intentionally causing physical harm or threatening someone with bodily injury. It is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Aggravated assault is a more serious offense, involving the intentional causing of serious bodily injury or the use of a deadly weapon. It is typically charged as a second-degree felony. If an individual uses a deadly weapon during an assault, it can result in enhanced charges. Assault family violence occurs within a domestic or familial relationship and the penalties can be enhanced in these cases as well.


Potential Consequences of Assault Charges

The consequences of an assault conviction can be life-altering. Punishments for assault convictions depend on if it is a misdemeanor or felony. (See “Penal Code Offenses by Punishment Range” from the Texas Office of the Attorney General for more information.)


Texas Misdemeanor Assaults & Associated Punishments

  • Class C misdemeanor: when someone threatens harm but no physical injury occurs or when someone touches another person in a provocative or offensive manner; up to a $500 fine.
  • Class B misdemeanor: when someone assaults someone during the course of a sporting event; fine of up to $2,000 and six months in prison.
  • Class A misdemeanor: when an assault causes physical harm or is perpetrated against a disabled or elderly person (even if it does not cause harm); fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year of prison time.


Texas Felony Assaults

  • 3rd-degree felony: when a person physically harms a public servant, emergency services personnel, or security officer; fine of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years of prison time.
  • 2nd-degree felony: when someone commits an assault while brandishing a weapon or causing serious physical harm (also referred to as aggravated assault); fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in prison.
  • 1st-degree felony: an aggravated assault carried out against a security officer, criminal witness, public servant, informant, or a person who reports a crime; maximum penalty of $10,000 in fines and life in prison.


Apart from significant monetary fines and jail time, individuals may face other consequences if convicted of an assault such as restraining orders, loss of many rights, and a permanent mark on their criminal record, as well as impacting their reputation, all of which can negatively affect their futures.


Legal Representation for Assault Cases

If someone wonders, “Is it worth pressing charges for assault?” and decides to do so, it is likely that person will seek out how to file assault charges in Texas. Filing assault charges in Texas involves a structured legal process that begins with reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities and concludes with a formal court hearing. If you are facing assault charges in Texas, assistance from an experienced attorney like Brian Erskine of Erskine Law is crucial. A seasoned attorney specializing in assault cases, Mr. Erskine will craft a strong defense for you in Austin or the surrounding area. Contact Erskine Law for a free consultation.