Many states treat assault and battery as two separate crimes, whereas some treat them as the same. The reason for this is because the offenses are very closely linked: "assault" occurs when someone threatens another with imminent bodily injury, while "battery" refers to actual bodily contact (either offensive or injurious in nature). Assault and battery also are considered intentional torts, which means you can sue someone for these actions in a civil court to get compensated for your injuries.
In Texas, the elements for a case against a defendant for assault and battery are the same, although there are many different classifications for different degrees of the offense (charged as "assault" even if battery does occur). For example, threatening someone with bodily harm in Texas may just result in a fine, while causing bodily harm against someone (typically charged as "battery" in other states) can land you in jail for up to one year.
The following provides an overview of Texas assault and battery laws, charged collectively as just "assault."
Texas Assault and Battery Laws at a Glance
|Statute||Texas Penal Code § 22.01, et seq.|
|Statutory Definition of Assault||
A person commits an offense if the person:
|Classifications of the Offense||
Class C misdemeanor if a person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way, and no other aggravating factors are present.
Class B misdemeanor if a person commits assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for a performance.
Class A misdemeanor if a person causes bodily injury to another, and no other aggravating factors are present; or if a person causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way against an elderly individual.
3rd degree felony if act committed against:
2nd degree felony if:
1st degree felony if aggravated assault is committed against:
An assault is considered "aggravated assault" if:
|Penalties and Sentences||
Note: State laws are constantly changing - please contact a Texas criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Arrested for Violating Texas Assault and Battery Laws? Get Legal Help
The criminal charge of "assault" can mean so many different things in a Texas court, ranging from a credible threat of committing violence to another person to actually inflicting serious bodily injury. These cases are quite complex and benefit from the expertise of a criminal defense attorney. So, if you've been charged with violating Texas assault and battery laws, it's a good idea to speak with a local criminal defense attorney who can explain what defenses are available based on the specific facts of your case, and can represent you in plea negotiations and court, if necessary.
Contact a qualified attorney.