Assault & Domestic Violence

Barton & Associates Law Firm, PLLC   |   San Antonio   |   South Texas

Types of assault charges in Texas
The kind of punishment you face for an assault charge in Texas varies depending on the type of assault charge you’re accused of committing. Some of the most common types of assault charges include:
Simple Assault
Simple assault is the lowest level of assault charge in Texas. A simple assault typically occurs as a result of unwanted physical contact with another person that did not result in injury, but that the other person found unpleasant, offensive, or threatening. Simple assault can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the case and the criminal background of the accused.
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault in Texas is a broader category of offense that refers to an assault that causes serious bodily injury to another person and/or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault in Texas can be charged as either a second or first degree felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the criminal background of the accused.
Sexual Assault

Also known as rape, sexual assault in Texas is defined as any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact involving penetration. In most cases, sexual assault is a first degree felony that can result in a prison sentence of 5-99 years upon conviction.

Assault Family Violence
Domestic violence (officially termed assault family violence in Texas), refers to an assault made against a family member or anyone who resides in your home, regardless of family relation. Domestic violence sentencing and penalties vary widely depending on the nature of the assault, the age of the victim(s), and the criminal history of the accused.
Intoxication Assault
Commonly associated with DWI, intoxication assault in Texas is defined as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, when another person suffers serious bodily injury as a result of such intoxication. In Texas, intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, punishable by a sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years in prison upon conviction.
Assault on a Public Servant
In Texas, an assault against a public servant is automatically charged as a felony. A public servant can refer to anybody performing a governmental function, including but not limited to police officers, postal workers, jurors, judges, or any other person involved in the execution of government duties.
Penalties for Assault Charges in Texas
In Texas, the penalties you may face for an assault charge can vary from a class C misdemeanor punishable by a small fine all the way to a first-degree felony punishable by as much as 99 years in prison.
Misdemeanor assault
In Texas, simple assault charges can range from class A to class C misdemeanors depending on the nature of the assault, its victim, and your criminal background.
Class C misdemeanor simple assault
Touching someone without their consent or in a way they find unpleasant with no resultant injury is typically charged as a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine upon conviction.
Class B misdemeanor simple assault
A simple assault is upgraded to a class B misdemeanor if the incident involved a terroristic threat. A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days jail time and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Class A misdemeanor simple assault
Simple assault charges can be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor for any of the following reasons:
  • The simple assault was carried out against an elderly person or a disabled individual
  • A terroristic threat is made against a public servant (i.e. you yell “I will mess you up!” while a traffic officer is writing you a ticket)
  • A direct threat of violence is made against a member of your household
  • The offending action involved conduct that placed the victim or others in imminent danger of serious bodily injury
  • The offending action prevents or interrupts the occupation of a public space such as an airplane, a store, a car, etc.
If convicted of a class A misdemeanor simple assault, you may be punished by jail time of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Felony assault

Aggravated assaults are charged as felonies, which can mean jail time if convicted. If you are facing felony aggravated assault charges, it is critical that you work with an experienced aggravated assault attorney in San Antonio.

Generally speaking, felony assault charges are filed for any action that results in serious bodily harm to another person or involve the use or brandishing of a deadly weapon. Additionally, certain extenuating factors can see a simple assault charge bumped up to a third degree felony. However, the degree of felony charge you face on an assault charge depends on the circumstances, and the effect on potential sentencing can be drastic.

Third degree felony assault
A simple assault charge can be upgraded from a class A misdemeanor to a third degree felony for any of the following reasons:
  • You have a previous conviction for simple domestic violence assault
  • The assault family violence involved impeding breath (choking)
  • The simple assault was performed against someone you knew was a public servant or government contractor, or against an on-duty emergency worker or security guard (ex. You grab an officer’s hand as they attempt to handcuff you)
If convicted of third degree felony assault in Texas, you could face a prison sentence of between 2–10 years and fines up to $10,000.
Second degree felony aggravated assault
Any assault involving the use of a deadly weapon or involving serious bodily injury is considered aggravated assault and is treated as (at least) a second degree felony. If convicted of second degree felony aggravated assault, you could face a prison sentence of between 2–20 years and fines up to $10,000.
First degree felony aggravated assault
First degree felonies are the most severe, and can result in severe consequences upon conviction. A prosecutor can pursue first degree felony charges for aggravated assault if your case involves one or more of the following factors:
  • You’ve been previously convicted of aggravated assault
  • You are accused of assaulting a member of your household or a dating partner
  • You are accused of assaulting a public servant during the execution of government duty
  • You are accused of assaulting a witness or informant to a crime, even if it is on behalf of another party
  • You are accused of assaulting an on-duty emergency worker or uniformed security guard
If convicted of first degree felony aggravated assault in Texas, you could face a prison sentence of between 5–99 years or life and up to $10,000 in fines.
Assault & Domestic Violence Lawyer
San Antonio   |   South Texas

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