After an argument with an old friend, you may be surprised when the police show up at your door, charging you with assault. Before you say anything, you need to know what “assault” and “battery” are.
If you have any good defense against the charges you may be facing, be ready to use them. Assault charges may be fully investigated, due to the perception of the crime.
What is assault?
“Assault” means making offensive, unwanted contact with someone. Someone who uses force against someone, intending to hurt them, may not use a weapon. Another person may use a deadly weapon in their assault. By using a weapon, the person faces much more serious charges.
If you used force against another person, but you did not hurt them, the charges you may face will be lighter. Assault charges are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Learning how the police and criminal courts treat assault will help you to build a stronger defense.
Understand what the state plans to use against you
Texas treats assault and battery as two crimes. An assault threatens someone with harm; battery happens when you make physical contact with someone else.
A Class C misdemeanor means you threatened someone with bodily harm. A Class B misdemeanor means you assaulted someone in retaliation for a sports performance. A Class A misdemeanor means you injured someone, with no aggravating factors.
The most serious is the first-degree felony. You have been accused of assaulting a public official, emergency worker or someone with whom you are in a domestic relationship. The penalty may be five years to life behind bars. You may also have to pay a fine.