Is Assault with Bodily Injury a Felony in Texas?
Whether you find yourself in an altercation during a night out or a confrontation turns violent, you could face charges for assault after a physical fight. In Texas, assault can fall under a number of legal definitions, including assault with bodily injury. Different assault charges carry different penalties, ranging from misdemeanors that can result in fines and jail time to serious felonies that can lead to lasting repercussions on your personal and professional life. If you have been arrested, speak to a Houston assault attorney at the Law Offices of David A. Breston today.
The Definition of Assault in Texas
Definitions of assault range from state to state, and Texas has a specific statute that outlines what constitutes an act of assault. According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits assault when at least one of the following elements is present at the time of the crime.
- The perpetrator intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to the alleged victim.
- The perpetrator knowingly or intentionally threatens the alleged victim with impending bodily injury.
- The perpetrator commits an act of physical contact, either knowingly or intentionally, that the perpetrator knows or should know would be offensive or provocative to the alleged victim.
Under this definition, assault can come in many different forms in the state of Texas. Flashing a knife at someone during a fight at a local bar could be a threat in the eyes of Texas law, as would violently shoving into someone after a verbal altercation.
What Is Assault Causing Bodily Injury?
The Texas Penal Code also provides a definition for assault with bodily injury. Simply put, this crime occurs when a perpetrator commits an act of assault that causes pain to the alleged victim. The assault does not have to leave a mark on the victim’s body for bodily injury to occur. The perpetrator must commit this act in a intentional, knowing, or reckless manner.
The state of Texas categorizes assault in a number of different ways, and assault charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. When it comes to assault with bodily injury, Texas defines it as a Class A misdemeanor. Under these circumstances, an act of assault results in bodily injury and no aggravating factors occur, such as the use of a weapon or a serious injury.
Potential Consequences for Assault with Bodily Injury
Under Texas state law, assault with bodily injury and other class A misdemeanors are punishable with a maximum of 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Other assault charges can have lesser or greater punishments, depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Class C misdemeanors usually occur when the threat of assault or a provocative action takes place. Penalties usually include a fine of up to $500.
- Class B misdemeanors occur when assault occurs during a sports game. Penalties can include up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- Third-degree felonies occur when the case involves security officers, emergency services personnel, public servants, and instances of domestic violence. Penalties can include up to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felonies occur when domestic violence is involved, the perpetrator has a criminal record of similar assault offenses, aggravated assault occurs, or the offense involves choking. Like third-degree felonies, this crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- First-degree felonies are the most serious assault charges someone could face. This crime occurs when an act of aggravated assault occurs against a police officer, public official, security guard, or other protected person, or when domestic aggravated assault takes place. Penalties can include between 5 years to life in prison and a fine.
Are you facing charges for assault with bodily injury in Texas? If so, you are not alone and help is available. With a Texas defense attorney on your side, you will have access to the resources, knowledge, and skillset you need to defend your case in a court of law. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest to discuss your legal options.