Assault and battery crimes are deemed very serious in Texas. A person facing those charges should always take the situation seriously and do all they can to protect their rights. It’s important to know about the assault and battery laws in the state.
What’s the difference between assault and battery?
Texas views assault and battery as two different offenses. The crimes are usually confused, but each carries its own set of penalties. Often, a person can be charged with both assault and battery depending on the circumstances of the case and face a variety of penalties.
Assault involves the threat of bodily harm to another person. Meanwhile, battery involves contact with a victim resulting in personal injury. Both crimes are intentional torts, which means that the perpetrator acts deliberately to hurt the victim. The victim can file both criminal and civil charges against the attacker.
How are these crimes committed?
The crime of assault often refers to knowingly, recklessly or deliberately causing bodily injury to a person. Even just issuing a threat to another person that they will suffer bodily injury can constitute assault.
A person can be arrested and charged with assault even if they make contact with a victim. The victim doesn’t actually have to suffer bodily injury. Aggravated assault charges can be placed on the individual if a deadly weapon such as a gun was used during the commission of the crime.
What are the penalties for an assault and battery conviction?
Depending on the nature of the offense and its severity, a defendant charged with assault and battery can face misdemeanor or felony charges in varying degrees. A Class C misdemeanor conviction carries a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail. Meanwhile, a first-degree felony conviction carries life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
These are serious penalties with long-term consequences. It’s important for someone charged with a crime to mount a defense if they want to avoid a conviction.