April 13, 2018
Texas District Judge Guy Williams was recently indicted on charges of road rage, which amounted to aggravated assault under Texas law. He was charged with allegedly pointing a gun at the occupants of a vehicle while attempting to run the vehicle off the road. The jury found him not guilty of one charge and undecided on the other.
This case is just one example of how assault charges work. Below we’re going to explain more about what it means to be charged with assaulting someone in Texas.
The Basics of Texas Assault Charges
Assault occurs when an individual threatens or commits an act of bodily injury against another person and does so with intent, knowledge, or recklessness. Assault charges also apply when an individual causes physical contact with a victim that the victim reasonably believes to be offensive or provocative.
An imminent threat is enough to constitute a charge. No proof of physical harm is needed for a conviction.
Here are the basic classifications for Texas assault charges:
A Class C misdemeanor applies to cases of simple assault with no aggravating factors.
A Class B misdemeanor applies to cases of assault against sports participants or in retaliation for sports performances.
A Class A misdemeanor applies to cases of provocative or offensive physical contact with an elderly person.
A third degree felony applies to acts of assault against public servants, security officers, emergency services workers or government workers while on duty; if prior convictions apply to cases involving family members, household members, or dating partners; or if choking was involved.
A second degree felony applies to acts of assault against family members, household members, or dating partners, and if prior offenses against the same victim resulted in a conviction, and choking was involved.
A first degree felony charge applies to acts of assault against a partner in a domestic relationship or a police officer, security guard, public official, informant, witness, or emergency services worker.
Aggravated assault is an act that resulted in serious bodily injury or involved the use of a deadly weapon.
Penalties for a Texas Assault Conviction
The penalties for the offenses are significant:
Class C misdemeanor—Fine of up to $500
Class B misdemeanor—Up to 180 days in jail and fine of up to $2,000
Class A misdemeanor—Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $4,000
Third degree felony—Up to 10 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000
Second degree felony—Between two and 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000
First degree felony—Between five years and life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
Get Help for Assault Charges in Texas
Since assault cases involve many details, they can be complex and difficult to navigate on your own. If you are facing assault charges in Texas, it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as charges are filed against you.
Our skilled team will examine the details of your case and look at every possible defense to protect your rights. We may be able to work out a plea bargain to reduce your sentencing, or possibly even get the charges dropped against you. Call today for a free case review.
About the Author:
Jeff Hampton has been practicing law in Texas in 2005, first in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor, and now as a private attorney with the Hampton Eppes Law Group, protecting the rights of Texans who have suffered injury due to negligence or are facing criminal charges. His success in helping people with their legal troubles has been recognized by clients and peers alike, with a Top Attorney designation and 10/10 Superb Rating on Avvo, and a place on the National Trial Lawyers list of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.