If you’re facing Houston assault charges, it’s important to know everything you can about these charges, including what the different types of charges mean and what the potential assault penalties are if convicted.
In general, assault is defined under Texas law as:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person;
- Threatening someone in a way that causes them to fear for their safety; or
- Having physical contact with another person in a way that would reasonably be considered offensive or provocative.
Simple assault is a charge that typically results from an act that didn’t actually cause physical harm or only caused minor injuries.
Simple Assault Penalties
If a simple assault results only in minor injuries, it generally is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail and/or $4,000 in fines.
When the simple assault involves just threatening or touching, it is generally classified as a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500. It can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if the threat was made against an elderly person, or to a Class B misdemeanor if made against a sports official such as a referee or umpire. A Class B misdemeanor conviction can result in up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
In certain circumstances, a simple assault charge can be increased to a 3rd degree felony. This can happen if the assault is committed against:
- A public servant or government official.
- A security guard or emergency services worker.
- A family member or other person whom you have or previously had a domestic relationship with AND you have a previous domestic violence conviction.
If the assault charge is increased to a 3rd degree felony, the potential penalties are up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If you’re facing a simple assault charge in Houston Texas, contact Houston assault attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss for experienced legal assistance.