Many states treat assault and battery as two separate crimes, while others treat them as the same charge. And the reason for this is because the two offenses are closely related. The term “assault” refers to any action that puts someone else under threat of bodily injury, while “battery” refers to any type of physical contact to the other person. Both actions are offensive and injurious in nature, and both of them are seen as “intentional torts.” So, someone can sue you for these actions in a civil court and can get monetary compensation for any injuries that you have inflicted.
In the State of Texas, the elements for assault and battery are the same. But there are many classifications for different degrees of this offense. Threatening someone with bodily harm in the State of Texas may result in a fine, while actually causing harm against someone (which is usually charged as “battery” in other states) can result in jail time for up to one year.
Assault and Battery Laws in the State of Texas
In the State of Texas, someone commits an act of assault if he or she:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily harm to another person, including his or her spouse.
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens someone with bodily harm to another person, including his or her spouse.
- Intentionally or knowingly makes physical contact with someone else when he or she knows that this person will see it as offensive or provocative.
Assault charges in Texas can have several different classifications as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor classifications for assault include:
- Class C Misdemeanor — You threaten someone with bodily harm or make physical contact in a way that may considered provocative or offensive, and they’re done with no other “aggravating factors.”
- Class B Misdemeanor — You commit assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for one that previously occurred.
- Class A Misdemeanor — You cause bodily injury to someone else without any other “aggravating factors,” or you make physical contact with an elderly person in a provocative or offensive manner.
An assault charge can be classified as a 3rd degree felony if you commit it against any of the following:
- A public servant while this person is performing his or her official duties.
- A family member, someone living in your household, or someone with which you are in a dating relationship when you haven’t been convicted of a similar offense.
- Someone who has been contracted by the government for certain family services while this person is performing his or her official duties.
- A security officer who is performing an action that falls within the scope of his or her official duties.
- Any emergency services person who is performing his or her official duties.
A 2nd degree felony charge will involve any of the following:
- You commit an offense against a family member, someone living in your household, or someone with which you are in a dating relationship, and you have been convicted of a similar offense.
- You intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly stop the breathing or blood circulation of someone else by choking or strangulation.
Any form of aggravated assault in Texas is seen as a 1st degree felony if it’s committed against any of the following:
- A public official, police officer, emergency worker, security guard, witness, or informant
- Someone with whom you are in a dating relationship.
Any form or assault is considered “assault” if the action results in serious bodily injury or involves any type of weapon.
Penalties and Sentences for Assault in the State of Texas
The penalties and sentences for assault in the State of Texas include any of the following:
- Class C Misdemeanor — A fine of up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $4,000.
- Third Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony — 2 to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony — 5 years to life in prison, including a fine.
The laws in the State of Texas are always changing. So if you want more specific information, feel free to speak to someone at Gale Law Group. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about assault or any other type of criminal charge.