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Learn the Different Types of Assault Offenses in Texas

By January 9, 2024February 12th, 2024Assault

Learn the Different Types of Assault Offenses in Texas

“Assault.” Do you really know what it is?

Most people think they do, but in reality they only have a vague idea – at least legally speaking.

Case-in-point: you would probably be surprised to learn how many offenses fall under the umbrella of “assault” in Texas. Because of this, we’ve decided to explain the different types of offenses in our state that qualify as assault and what it can mean to be charged with various ones.

Assault and Aggravated Assault

This is “assault” as most people think they know it. Simple assault is when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes or threatens bodily injury to another person. Aggravated assault occurs when someone causes serious bodily injury or uses a deadly weapon during the assault.

Sexual and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Most people know these types of crimes, but often under different names. Sexual assault occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly causes penetration of body organs without consent. Aggravated sexual assault occurs if serious bodily injury, death attempts, or kidnapping happen in conjunction with sexual assault. It also applies if a deadly weapon or “date rape” drugs are used during the alleged criminal act.

Injury to a Child, Elderly Person, or Disabled Individual

Yes, who you assault matters. If a person causes bodily injury, mental deficiency, or impairment to any of the described individuals, this charge may apply.

Child Abandonment or Endangerment

If a child under the age of 15 is left without sufficient care, the responsible adult may be held liable. Though not exactly an “assault” per se, this is included on the list of “assaultive offenses.”

Deadly Conduct

Someone commits this offense if their reckless conduct with a firearm places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.

Terroristic Threats

If someone threatens to commit offenses that involve violence against people or property, with the intent to injure others, cause fear, or disrupt normal public service operations, this offense may apply.

Suicide Assistance

In the state of Texas, it’s a crime to aid or attempt to aid someone else in committing suicide.

Consumer Product Tampering

If someone adds a foreign substance which is intended to cause serious bodily injury to the public food or drug supply, this assault charge may be filed.

Child Left in a Vehicle

Similar to child endangerment or abandonment, when someone leaves a child under the age of 7 years in a vehicle for longer than five minutes and the child is not attended by someone at least 14 years old, this charge may apply.

Harassment in Correctional Facilities

This law exists to protect both prisoners and public servants from assault while inside the correctional system.

What Is the Difference Between These Various Assault Charges in Texas?

Fort Worth Assault Lawyer

An experienced Texas criminal attorney can be speak to the specific punishments attached to each crime and what you should expect based on the particulars or your situation, but here is a general explanation.

A Class C misdemeanor applies for the simplest assault charges. A Class B misdemeanor applies if the assault occurs during a sports performance. A Class A misdemeanor applies if bodily injury is caused, or if an elderly individual was assaulted. Misdemeanor punishments include fines up to $4,000 and up to a year of jail time.

A third-degree felony charge applies if the assault is committed against certain public workers or there is a previous offense. This charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

A second-degree felony charge applies for aggravated assault against a household member, and carries a sentence of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A first-degree felony charge applies for aggravated assault against a domestic partner or certain public workers. This charge carries 5 years to life in prison plus a fine.

If you are facing any of these charges, reduced sentencing and probation may be available to you. Contact an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your options.

About the Author: 

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.

Jeff Hampton

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a felony crimes lawyer, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He has been named one of the 3 Best DUI Lawyers in Fort Worth, recognized by Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, Avvo, and others, and he is Lead Counsel rated.