Assault is a serious charge, and depending on the type of assault and the circumstances around the act, the charges could escalate to a felony. Texas law categorizes assaults based on the severity of the act, the harm caused and the individuals involved.
If the police have charged you with assault, you need to understand the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges.
Assault with bodily injury
An assault escalates to a felony in Texas when you cause bodily injury to another person. This includes situations where you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to someone else. The law classifies it as a third-degree felony if you commit this crime against a public servant, a security officer or a family member and have a previous conviction of family violence.
Aggravated assault, a second-degree felony in Texas, escalates to a first-degree felony under certain circumstances. This kind of assault happens when you cause serious bodily injury to another person or use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the assault. If you commit aggravated assault against a family member, someone you are in a relationship with or a public servant, the law classifies it as a first-degree felony.
Assault with a deadly weapon
Committing assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime in Texas, categorized as a second-degree felony. The law defines a deadly weapon as any object that can potentially cause death or serious bodily injury. If you commit the assault against a family member, a public servant or in retaliation against a witness or informant, it escalates to a first-degree felony.
Knowing when an assault escalates to a felony in Texas helps in understanding the potential consequences of such charges, so you can build a proper defense against them.