In previous generations, it wasn’t uncommon for people to get into a fight, shake hands and walk away. Sometimes they even became friends. Other times, people’s fights would turn physical, but afterward they’d move on and they would never fight again. But that was in the past and a lot has changed in the 21st Century.
Nowadays, if you get into a fight at a bar or if you slap someone or punch them, you can be arrested and charged with “assault” under the Texas Penal Code. As a result, you could be convicted, fined, and jailed, plus you would have a criminal record, which impacts employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
Texas Penal Code: Assault
In Texas, assault is covered under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 22.01, you commit assault if you “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” cause:
- Bodily injury to another person,
- Threaten another person with imminent bodily injury, including your spouse, OR
- Cause physical contact that the person would consider offensive.
Assault under Sec. 22.01 is a Class A misdemeanor unless the offense was committed against a family member, such as a spouse or child. If the assault was against a family member, it is a felony of the third degree.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable one year in jail and by a fine not to exceed $4,000. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000. In many situations, when someone is guilty of family or domestic violence, they’ll be charged with a third-degree felony.
Aggravated Assault Charges
If someone causes serious bodily injury on another person, including their spouse, or if they use or exhibit a deadly weapon, such as a knife or firearm during the assault, they face aggravated assault charges under Section 22.02, which is prosecuted as a felony of the first or second degree.
In the face of assault charges, contact Alband, Lane & Balderama for a free case evaluation.