If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s, you grew up in a time when people could get into a fight, shake hands afterward, and walk away as friends. Not that every fight turned out this way, but it definitely happened sometimes.
These days, things are very different. If you were to poke, push, hit, or punch someone, there is a very good chance you’ll walk away in handcuffs. You probably won’t get a chance to “cool off” or settle your differences on a different day unless it’s in court.
Assault is one charge that people are charged with often. In Texas, assault is covered under Title 5, Chapter 22, of the Texas Penal Code. There are two categories of assault in Texas: 1) assault and 2) aggravated assault, which is described below.
Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
Assault is covered under Section 22.01of the Texas Penal Code. You commit the offense of assault if you knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly injure someone else’s body, including your own husband or wife. Assault includes:
- Intentionally causing bodily injury to another person;
- Intentionally making physical contact that is offensive on another person; or
- Intentionally and knowingly threatening to cause imminent bodily injury on another person, including one’s husband or wife.
Assault is typically a Class A misdemeanor, however, it is a felony of the third degree if it is committed against a family member, such as the offender’s spouse or child.
Aggravated assault is more serious than simple assault. A person commits aggravated assault under Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code when they cause serious bodily injury to the victim, or if they exhibit a deadly weapon while committing the assault.
Aggravated assault is a felony of the second degree, except it is a felony of the first degree if they used a deadly weapon while committing an assault against a family member as defined in the Family Code, and caused serious bodily injury.
- Assault as a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and by a maximum fine of $4,000.
- Assault as a felony of the third degree is punishable by 2-10 years in jail, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Assault as a felony of the second degree is punishable by 2-20 years in jail, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Assault as a felony of the first degree is punishable by 5-99 years or life, and by a $10,000 fine.
Are you facing assault charges in Dallas? If so, contact Attorney Peter Barrett for a free case evaluation and a hard-hitting defense.