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In Texas, a person commits assault if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when they know or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Bodily injury means any physical pain, illness, or impairment of physical condition. An injury resulting in broken bones or hospitalization is “serious bodily injury,” which is considered aggravated assault. An assault that involves a weapon is also aggravated assault.
Assault offenses can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the crime. The following are specified classes of misdemeanor assault:
- Class C misdemeanor – a person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way, and no other aggravating factors are present
- Class B misdemeanor – a person commits assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for a performance
- Class A misdemeanor – a person causes bodily injury to another, and no other aggravating factors are present; or a person causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way against an elderly individual
Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to $500 in fines; Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines; and Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
The penalties for assault could increase to the felony level if certain factors are present. For instance, if simple assault resulted in bodily injury against a special victim like a public servant, security officer, or government employee in the performance of their duties, the defendant may be charged with a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A person charged with repeated domestic assault can also be charged with a third degree felony or even a second degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If a person committed aggravated assault against someone they have a domestic relationship with or a protected class member as mentioned above (public servant, security officer, etc.), they could face first degree felony charges punishable by 5 years to life in prison.
Whether you are facing criminal charges for simple or aggravated assault, Beasley Law Firm can strategize an effective defense for you against your Fort Worth accusations. We genuinely care about our clients’ wellbeing and the future you have ahead of you, so you can trust us to provide you the results-driven advocacy you need to combat harsh and unfair charges.
Schedule a free phone consultation with us at (817) 338-1877 or contact Beasley Law Firm online to discuss your legal options in more detail.