In the state of Texas, the same elements apply to both assault and battery cases. A person commits assault if he or she makes contact with another individual with an intent to injure him or her. It may also be assault if a person makes contact with another in a manner that would reasonably be expected to cause harm. Someone who threatens to harm another person or his or her family member could also be charged with a crime.
Aggravated assault occurs if an individual is seriously injured or harmed because an assailant used a weapon. Depending on the details of the case, an individual who commits assault could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. Typically, if no aggravating factors are present, an individual will be charged with a misdemeanor. Individuals will generally face a fine or jail time, and the penalties are increased for an assault on a family member or elderly person.
A person may face a felony charge for assaulting someone with whom he or she has a romantic relationship. This may also be the case if the victim was a police officer, informant or worked in an emergency services capacity. Penalties for a felony charge can range from five years to life in prison as well as a fine of $10,000.
Individuals who are charged with assault, battery or domestic violence could face significant penalties if convicted. In addition to jail time or a fine, they could find that their personal and professional reputations are tarnished. Working with a legal representative may make it possible to create a defense to the charge. For instance, it may be possible to claim that an individual was acting in self-defense, which may help him or her obtain a plea bargain or get the case thrown out entirely.