As you go through life you may marry, buy a home with your spouse and live with them in relative peace and happiness. Of course, living with someone else, even your spouse, is challenging at times. Most couples in Houston fight occasionally. However, the heated exchange of words becomes a criminal offense when one or both spouses are arrested and charged with assault.
“Assault” and “battery” are different crimes in some states. However, in Texas the crimes of assault and battery both fall under the same umbrella — varying degrees of the crime assault. The seriousness of the crime depends on what acts were committed and against whom.
The three categories of assault in Texas
Texas law recognizes three categories of assault. The most serious assault offense takes place when a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injures someone else. This assault crime ranges from a Class A misdemeanor to a second-degree felony, depending on the category of persons assaulted. This crime is akin to the crime of “battery” in other states.
There are two other circumstances in which a person commits assault. In Texas, a person commits assault if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threaten to immediately harm someone else. Finally, in Texas, a person commits assault if they intentionally or knowingly touch someone in a way that they should know would offend or provoke the person. These two assault crimes range from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. These two assault crimes are commonly referred to as “assault” in other states as well.
Some examples of situations that could lead to assault charges
if a fight between spouses becomes physical, one or both parties can be arrested and charged with assault. For example, if one or both spouses choke, punch, slap or kick the other spouse in a manner that causes physical injuries the spouse or spouses could be arrested for assault.
Note that assault in Texas need not actually involve physical harm. An offensive touch or threat of harm is all that is needed to be considered assault. For example, if two spouses hurl angry words at one another and these words would reasonably be seen as a threat of imminent physical injury, the spouse or spouses could be arrested for assault. Even if one or both spouses start physically poking, tapping or pushing one another in a way that is offensive or provoking, one or both spouses could also be arrested for assault.
An assault conviction can mar your future
An assault conviction can majorly impact your future. An assault conviction can lead to hefty fines and jail time. Even after you are released, you will have a criminal record that will follow you into the foreseeable future. It is difficult to find housing or obtain a job if you have a criminal record. For this reason, those who are accused of assault will want to take all necessary measures to develop a solid defense strategy in their favor.