People tend to use the term assault loosely. For that reason, the legal definition of assault might not be what you think it is. Generally speaking, assault refers to threatening to do a violent act. Battery usually refers to the act of physically touching another individual or causing them injury. According to Texas state laws, assault and battery fall under the same statutes. There are three main levels of the crime. Learn about those levels and what they mean for the offender.
Basics of Assault
If an assault occurs, the consequences could be severe. Typically, the incident involves one person attempting to kill another individual or one trying to cause serious harm to another individual. There may or may not be a weapon present at the time of the incident.
Whether or not you physically harm the individual, you could face charges for the crime. All that matters is the attempt to cause harm. In many states, the harshness of the penalty depends on whether or not the act resulted in injury. It also depends on the severity of that injury.
To prove any type of assault, the prosecutor needs to show proof that there was intent to commit the assault. For example, pointing a gun at someone and threatening to kill them doesn’t necessarily qualify as an assault. There needs to be evidence that the individual intended to commit the act.
There are three types of misdemeanor assault in Texas. Each one is very specific. For example, a Class B misdemeanor assault is an assault against someone who is a participating official in a sporting event. If a Class C misdemeanor occurs, the incident involved bodily injury to another person with no other aggravating factors. It could also involve physical contact against someone who is elderly.
If you have questions about misdemeanor assault, you can contact a Fort Worth assault lawyer.
First Degree Assault
Assault can also be a felony. Every state has unique laws regarding the degrees of assault. In Texas, a first degree assault is an aggravated assault that occurs within a domestic relationship. It could also be an assault that occurs against one of the following individuals:
- Public official
- Police officer
- Emergency worker
Aggravated assault involves serious injury or the use of a weapon. In either case, the result could be jail time and a fine.
Second Degree Assault
This type of assault is slightly different than the previous type. There are situations that could qualify as a second degree assault.
For example, the cime could be against someone in your household, a family member, or someone you are dating. In many cases, you need to knowingly or recklessly choke or keep air from the individual.
Third Degree Assault
A third degree assault occurs against one of the following:
- A public servant who is working in an official capacity
- Someone in the household or family
- An individual the offender is dating (if there is a prior offense)
- Someone who is an emergency services personnel and is providing emergency services
There is one caveat. For these charges against a public servant or emergency worker to be successful, the offender must have been aware of their role at the time of the assault.
Assault can be a complex issue. Additionally, it can come with serious ramifications. If you are facing charges, you should contact a lawyer today.