In many states, assault and battery are very different charges. Battery refers to the physical contact that is made, while assault can refer to other elements of the event. For instance, many states can charge someone with assault simply for making a credible threat, while they won’t be charged with assault and battery unless they follow through on those threats and make contact.
In Texas, however, it’s important to note that assault and battery are both bundled under the single umbrella term of being assault charges. This means that they could be very serious, such as physically assaulting someone and causing injury, which could lead to a year in jail. But it could also be very minor, such as being charged with assault for making a threat. In that case, you may simply be fined, but not have to spend any time in jail.
Is it a felony or a misdemeanor?
Basic assault charges, even when bodily injury occurs, are often listed as Class A, B or C misdemeanors. This happens when there are no other aggravating factors to be applied to the case.
However, assault can be a felony in certain situations. One example is if the person who is injured is a public servant. It can also be a felony if they’re a family member, as this gets into domestic violence territory.
Even among felony charges, you have 3rd, 2nd and 1st-degree felonies. For instance, if the person was in a domestic relationship with you, it could be a first-degree felony. if that person was simply dating you, it may only be a second-degree felony.
What are your options?
You can see that this makes the law rather confusing in Texas, and you may feel that the charges that you’re facing don’t really reflect the reality of what took place. If so, you may want to make sure that you are well aware of all of your criminal defense options and your rights.