Like other criminal acts, a charge for assault in Texas can come with severe consequences. If you commited the alleged act, you could face criminal penalties, including jail time. In addition, the alleged victim might also try to sue you in civil court in order to obtain compensation from you for any injuries that resulted from the act.
If a Texas court in Houston has charged you with assault, it is important to fully understand the range of consequences that might affect you. Knowing this information can help you make decisions about how to proceed with your defense.
What is assault?
In general, assault is the act of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injuring another individual. It involves threatening another person with harm or initiating physical contact that the other person would consider an offense.
Level of offense
Like other criminal acts, there are various levels of assault that depend on the severity of the offense. For instance, a Class C misdemeanor is the lowest level offense and typically involves one person threatening another or initiating physical contact without any factors contributing to the situation. A Class A misdemeanor, the most severe misdemeanor an offender might receive, can result from one person actually causing physical harm to another. There are also circumstances that can move an assault offense from a misdemeanor classification to a felony. For instance, assaulting a public official, a family member or involving the use of weapon can easily result in a felony charge.
The minimum penalty you might face if the court convicts you of a Class C misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500. A more serious misdemeanor can result in jail time and heavier fines. A felony assault conviction typically carries prison time ranging from one year to life and thousands of dollars in fines depending on the severity of the crime.
Since a criminal conviction can carry far-reaching consequences, even beyond fines and jail time, it is vital that you make every effort to build a proper defense. If you are facing an assault charge, keep in mind that you still have rights and you can fight back against the charges.