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What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Texas?

 Posted on September 12, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Weatherford, TX criminal defense attorneyAssault and battery are two closely related crimes, but there is a difference between them. Assault only requires the threat of violence, while battery, or aggravated assault, requires intentional and seriously harmful physical contact.

In Texas, assault is defined as "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening or causing bodily harm." Aggravated assault adds to this definition through “serious bodily injury and use or exhibit of a deadly weapon."

Regardless of whether you have been charged with assault, aggravated assault, or both, it is important to speak to an attorney. They can help you understand the charges, mount a defense, and protect your rights under the law.

What are the Penalties for Assault and Battery?

Penalties for assault will vary depending on the circumstances. For a simple assault, the general punishment is no more than a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, in some cases, a simple assault can be bumped up to a third-degree felony which can result in two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Aggravated assault, or assault with a deadly weapon, can increase charges significantly. Aggravated assault is considered a second-degree felony with penalties ranging from two years to 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000. Charges can easily jump to a first-degree felony if the assault was committed against a public servant. An aggravated assault of the first degree carries with it a penalty of five years to life in a Texas prison.

Sexual assault results in very different penalties. Though it is considered an assaulting offense, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault are categorized as sex crimes.

How are the Penalties Determined for Assault?

Each assault offense brings with it a misdemeanor class or a felony charge. The classifications for misdemeanors are as follows:

  • Class C misdemeanor: Threatening someone with bodily harm or making physical contact provocatively or offensively is a Class C misdemeanor if there are no other aggravating factors.

  • Class B misdemeanor: Assaulting someone who is participating in a sporting event or in retaliation for an event is a Class B misdemeanor.

  • Class A misdemeanor: Causing bodily injury to someone, or making physical contact provocatively or offensively against an elderly person, is a Class A misdemeanor if there are no other aggravating factors.

Assault charges can be elevated to a felony degree depending on the circumstances. Felony assault charges include injuries to:

  • A child

  • The elderly

  • Disabled persons

  • Family members

  • Public servants (i.e. police, judges)

Contact a Weatherford, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with assault or aggravated assault, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced Parker County, TX assault criminal defense attorney. The office of Soraya Joslin, P.C. has such an attorney who is ready to begin working to defend your rights and build a strong case on your behalf. Contact the office at 817-599-7005 and allow us to represent you today.

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