Assault is considered a violent crime, and can come with a steep punishment. The law allows assault to fall under a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the nature and severity of the crime. In Texas, the courts will weigh the circumstances of the case and the evidence that they have in order to determine whether a case should be judged from the harsher or lesser level. The Texas Penal Code has three definitions for assault. Two of those definitions do not require physical contact.
First, assault can be intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily harm to a person. Assault can also be defined as intentionally or knowingly threatening a person with imminent bodily injury. It is also causing physical contact with another when a person knows that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. The definitions of assault are broad, and allow for a lot of court interpretation. For example, throwing a plate at a spouse’s head can be considered
aggravated assault with a deadly weapon So can shooting a spouse with a gun out of anger. While both of those examples fall under the same crime, throwing a plate would probably merit a misdemeanor whereas shooting a gun would bring on a felony. It doesn’t matter whether the bullet or the plate missed making contact with your spouse, the intent to harm is enough to merit the charge.
Simply assault, or misdemeanor assault, typically comes with up to $4,000 in fines and up to one year in the county jail. A 3rd degree felony assault can come with up to 10 years in a Texas prison and a $10,000 fine. Violent assault may even merit a first degree felony, and bring a person’s sentence up to a lifetime in prison. When a client came to us after being charged with a felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, we were able to reduce that sentence back down to a misdemeanor. We showed the court that the offense wasn’t as serious as they had assumed, and were able to reduce our client’s sentence to a mere 180 days in a county jail. If you need help with a felony assault charge, contact a lawyer at the D’Amore Law Firm today for aid!