If a person injures someone on purpose or because they’re being reckless, it’s considered assault, and it’s a Class A misdemeanor. However, it can also be a third-degree felony due to a variety of circumstances.
For example, a Class A misdemeanor can become a third-degree felony if the:
- Person being assaulted is an on-duty security officer.
- Victim is pregnant during the assault.
- Assailant tries to block the victim from breathing by strangling the throat or blocking the nose and mouth.
Additionally, the crime can become a second-degree felony if the assaulter:
- Knows their victim is a judge or security officer when they attack them.
- Has been convicted of this crime previously.
- And more.
Threatening Bodily Harm and Offensive Contact
People often assume that assault only happens when somebody physically harms another person. Sticks and stones, right? We have freedom of speech, don’t we? Anyone who believes these ideas is terribly mistaken.
Words do carry weight and people aren’t allowed to say anything they want without repercussions. If an individual threatens to cause bodily harm to another person, they could be facing Class C misdemeanor charges.
In addition to verbal threats of violence, the definition of “assault” can also include non-violent physical contact. For example, it’s considered a Class C misdemeanor assault if someone touches another individual and knows that the person will find it offensive or provocative.
Whether it’s threats of violence or unwanted contact, the charge can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if the victim is elderly or disabled or if the verbal threat is an effort to force an individual to get an abortion.
It can become a Class B misdemeanor if the perpetrator is not a sports participant and they’re committing it against a sports participant during a game/event or in retaliation for something the person did during a sporting competition.
Possible Punishments for Assault
According to the Texas Penal Code, here are the penalties people can face if convicted of assault:
- Class A misdemeanors can be punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 or a jail term of up to 365 days or both.
- Class B misdemeanors can be punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class C misdemeanors can be punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Second-degree felonies can be punishable by a 2-20 year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felonies can be punishable by a prison sentence of 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defending Those Facing Assault Charges in the Fort Worth Area
Have you been accused of assault? The experienced attorneys of Lee & Wood are ready to help protect your rights. To get your free, confidential consultation, call our law firm today at 817-678-6771 or simply send us a message online.