Types of Assault in the State of Texas

Assault is a serious crime involving intentional action to bring harm to another person. This offense could mean that someone intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to another person or that they verbally threatened another person with imminent bodily injury. The offense of assault is typically categorized as a misdemeanor, but it can be upgraded to a felony charge in certain circumstances.

Penalties for assault vary depending on the degree of the offense. Fines can range from a $500 fine to $10,000 and prison time can range from one year to life in extreme circumstances involving extreme bodily harm and deadly weapons. On top of that, a defendant is likely to face crippling collateral damage whether the case is dismissed or not including the ability to secure housing, get a job, or own a gun. Allegations like sexual assault carry a tremendous social stigma where defendants find their lives forever altered by these accusations.


Simple Assault and Related Penalties

The punishment for simple assault in Texas depends on the severity of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed.

In cases where the intent to harm is verbal or involves no injury, Texas considers this a Class C Misdemeanor which carries a fine of $500. In addition, the court may order the offender to complete community service or attend anger management classes.

There is also a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas which is limited to an assault involving professional athletes and sports figures.

When a bodily injury occurs, the charge elevates to a Class A Misdemeanor which can involve a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.

Simple assaults involving bodily injury can be charged as a felony where the victim is of a protected class, is a civil servant, or a family member. Felony charges can see fines of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.


Assault Involving Family and Household Members

Assault on a family or household member charges require experienced legal guidance given the sensitive nature of accusations between people in families and relationships. Even if you receive deferred adjudication, there is still an affirmative finding of family violence that carries with you forever. Even if the case is dismissed the record can affect the securement of housing and employment. You can never own a firearm following a charge of assault on a family member.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not you did what you’re accused of, you have to defend yourself. You have to have someone who’s going to advocate on your behalf.”

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a more serious felony offense that occurs when an assault causes serious bodily injury or involves the use of a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison. In extreme cases, someone convicted of felony assault can receive a life sentence.


Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is the most serious type of assault and refers to any type of sexual contact that is forced or unwanted. Specifically, it is defined as any non-consensual sexual contact or penetration. This can include anything from unwanted groping to rape.
The punishment for sexual assault varies depending on the circumstances of the crime, but it can range from a Class C misdemeanor (which carries a maximum fine of $500) to a first-degree felony (which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison). In addition, someone convicted of sexual assault will be required to register as a sex offender. Given the stigma and serious nature of this crime, it is important to be aware of the potential punishments if you are accused of sexual assault in Texas.

“The stigma that goes along with being accused is extremely looked down upon in any community. And just the accusation itself is so damning.”

If you have been charged with any type of assault it is critical that you have the advice and support of a knowledgeable attorney to not only protect your freedom but to do whatever possible to prevent lifelong collateral consequences of the accusation. Victoria, Texas attorney Sierra Hatley and board certified attorney Brent Mayr can understand the charges against you and develop a strong defense strategy.

Contact Mayr Law, P.C. today to obtain competent legal advice and representation by calling the Victoria Office at (361) 333-5620 or contact us online.

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