Assault is not only a serious criminal charge, but it comes with certain violent connotations. Those convicted of assault could face lengthy jail sentences and find it hard to obtain work upon release.
While a physical attack such as punching someone, kicking them or even a shove, could be classified as assault, defining the crime is not always that simple. Must there be physical contact for an assault to occur?
What the law says
The crime of assault is outlined in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. The key elements of the crime include “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” causing injury to someone or causing physical contact with another person if you know or “reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.” Crucially, there is also a third element. A person may be guilty of assault if they intentionally or knowingly threaten another with “imminent bodily injury.”
What this means is that physical contact is not necessary. A person can be charged with assault if they threaten another person with bodily injury.
Protecting your rights
Having a firm grasp of the law regarding assault in Texas is pivotal in protecting your rights. You may have been in a verbal confrontation that had no presence of the imminent threat of violence. Perhaps you were in fear of your safety, and opted to defend yourself using reasonable force.
Facing assault charges is a serious matter that could impact both your personal and professional life. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to assert your legal rights.