Types of Assault & Battery Charges
There are a variety of assault & battery charges in Texas, and each carries different penalties along with them. If you have been arrested for assault & battery of any type, contact us immediately. We are an experienced team of criminal defense attorneys in Fort Worth who will work with you immediately to begin building your case and work towards a positive outcome to your trial.
Schedule an initial consultation from our website, or contact us if you need immediate representation.
It is important that you exercise your constitutional right to counsel during any conversations with law enforcement, as you may accidentally incriminate yourself, or complicate your case by saying something that may be interpreted wrong.
Assault & battery charges are serious, and can have a wide range of repercussions in your life beyond your penalties for the crime. We will work with you to build a strong defense, and fight for a fair and positive outcome for your case. Contact us today about hiring us as your legal representation, and read more about assault & battery charges in Texas.
What Is Assault & Battery?
Assault & battery are treated as separate offenses in many states, with their own individual penalties associated. However, Texas includes them both under the charge of “Assault” in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 22. Under the Texas Penal Code, Assault is defined as:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Assault charges can be enhanced if there are weapons involved, or if there is serious bodily harm done during the course of the assault. At this point, the assault charge will become an Aggravated Assault charge.
Assault charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor, which only results in a fine, all the way to the possibility of life in prison from a 1st Degree Felony. The charges will depend on the specifics of the assault in question, as well as the people involved, the attacker’s criminal record, and more.
Misdemeanor Assault Charges
Typically, an assault begins as a Class A misdemeanor in cases where there is either physical harm- threats of physical harm typically come with a Class C Misdemeanor. However, there are some instances where a charge will be elevated from a Class C to a Class A, or from a Class A to a felony. For example: f the victim of a Class C misdemeanor assault is elderly, it is automatically increased to a Class A.
The charges will be enhanced to a felony depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the assault, as you can read about below.
Felony Assault Charges
A Class A Misdemeanor assault is automatically upgraded to a felony is a variety of cases. One notable instance is if the victim of the assault is a public servant – this could be a census worker, an EMT, a firefighter, police officer, or any other number of workers. There are many other situations where an assault is determined to be a felony, such as the extent of the injuries, the relationship with the victim, and more.
Misdemeanors A through C carry penalties from a fine of $500 (Class C), up to a possibility of a year in jail, as well as a $4,000 fine. Felonies carry significantly greater punishments, and can carry up to 20 years in prison, as well as $10,000 in fines.
Keep in mind that assault victims may also be eligible to seek personal injury damages from their attacker — these damages will go beyond the fines paid to the Texas courts, and although a civil ruling does not impact criminal records, can have serious impacts on your life.
Domestic Violence and Gun Rights
If you’ve been convicted of a felony crime in the state of Texas, you may lose your ability to own a firearm under the 1968 Gun Control Act, but this law also extends to a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence. That means that if you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor assault or battery against a family member, you could lose your gun rights in addition to the other penalties associated with the charge. It’s important that your criminal defense attorney addresses this in any plea negotiations with the prosecutor.
Contact Us Today
The sooner you contact our team, the sooner you will have a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney at your side, guiding you through this process. Having the right representation can make a major difference in the trial and the outcome.