Assault is listed in the Penal Code as intentionally or knowingly (or recklessly or threatening) making offensive or provocative physical contact with another. Obviously the law is more complex than that, but for general purposes, Assault is the unlawful touching of another person. It can be a tap, slap, punch, or stab. Assault includes hitting with objects and weapons, and includes gunshots.
The slightest touch is really all that's necessary to potentialy have charges filed. Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code sets forth several assaults, includes assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault on an officer or emergency personnel, sexual assault, aggrevated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a child or the elderly, and terroristic threats.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person: (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse; (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or (3) 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.
Assaults can be punished as a Misdemeanor or Felony, and can range from fines, probation, county jail, state jail, and even prison.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
|State jail felony||180 days to 2 years in a state jail, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
|3rd Degree Felony||2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
There are several defenses to assaultive conduct, most notably being self defense. Witness Statements, injuries, the circumstances, 911 tapes, and other evidence will lend to a self defense claim.
Assaults can be enhanced based on prior convictions of assault. Also, the more serious the injury to the victim, the more severe the charge becomes, with enhancements for bodily injury.
Another category of assault is Family Assault, based on the marital, family, or dating relationship of those involved.
The Keates Law Firm has over 10+ Years Experience handling criminal defense cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail. This includes Motions to Suppress, Motions to Exclude Evidence based on Invalid Searches or Miranda Right Violations, and Probable Cause determinations.
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