Both acts of interpersonal violence and intentional intimidation may lead to assault charges under Texas state law. While assault may not be as serious as homicide, it is a violent crime that can have lasting implications for someone’s employment and housing opportunities. Assault charges can also influence the outcome of custody matters in Texas, which means that those accused of an assault-related offense often need to prepare a defense or risk a lifetime of challenges.
There are numerous situations that may lead to assault charges under state statutes, and each situation may result in slightly different criminal charges. The three types of assault below are among the most commonly prosecuted forms of assault that occur in Texas.
Simple misdemeanor assault
The least serious form of assault is one of the most common reasons for assault prosecution in the state. Those accused of intimidating others or engaging in offensive physical conduct, such as touching someone in a suggestive or inappropriate manner, may end up facing simple assault charges under Texas state law. Minor incidents involving interpersonal violence may also lead to simple assault charges provided that there are no aggravating factors involved.
Aggravated assault charges
Prosecutors may bring more serious assault charges against individuals when there are special elements involved in the situation. The presence of a weapon, such as a knife or baseball bat, could potentially lead to aggravated assault charges. The extent of the injuries to the other party could also result in aggravated assault charges.
The main factor that divides standard assault allegations from domestic assault is the nature of the relationship between the parties. When the people involved in an incident have a familial or romantic relationship or when they cohabitate with each other, the party accused of assault may face domestic assault charges that can lead to enhanced penalties and additional scrutiny from future employers and others that conduct background checks.
There are many ways for people to defend against assault charges, including raising claims that they acted in self-defense. Learning more about assault charges and the Texas criminal justice system may benefit those recently arrested on allegations of interpersonal violence or threatening conduct to more successfully navigate the circumstances that they’re facing.