Both assault and battery charges in the state of Texas are exceptionally serious charges that should be taken very seriously. Many people believe the charge of assault and the charge of battery are interchangeable, but – in the State of Texas – they are decidedly not. If you have been charged with a violent crime in Texas, seek the professional legal guidance of an experienced Harker Heights criminal defense lawyer.
Assault and Battery
In Texas, assault and battery are both distinct charges that come with distinct fines and penalties, but it is important to note that there is no actual charge of battery in the state. Instead, the charge of battery is technically classified as an even more serious version of assault.
If the Charge Is Assault
If the charge you face is assault, it refers to you allegedly having threatened your accuser with bodily harm. Generally, this is a Class C misdemeanor, and a conviction carries a fine of up to $500.
If the Charge is Battery
If you are charged with battery, it means you allegedly engaged in bodily contact with your accuser that was either injurious or offensive. The charge and its attendant penalties and fines rise exponentially from here.
If the assault is aggravated by any of the following elevating factors, it makes the charge that much more serious:
- Inflicting severe bodily injury
- Having a weapon present
- Pursuing a victim with whom one has a domestic relationship
- Intending to inflict severe bodily injury
Crime and Punishment: Battery
All of the following fines and penalties apply to battery charges in Texas:
Class A Misdemeanor
If the victim suffers a physical injury, but there are no additional aggravating factors – or if the victim is elderly and endures offensive and/or provocative contact – the charge is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and fines of up to $4,000.
If any of the following apply, the assault charge levied can be a third-degree felony:
- The victim and the accused have a domestic relationship, and the accused has been convicted of a similar charge in the past.
- The accused knowingly assaulted a security officer, public servant, or family services contractor who was doing his or her job (or who did so in retaliation for the person having done his or her job)
- The accused knowingly assaulted an emergency services worker who was doing his or her job.
A conviction carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Do Not Wait to Consult with an Experienced Lawyer
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Harker Heights, Texas, takes great pride in successfully defending the legal rights of clients like you – in zealous pursuit of their cases’ most beneficial outcomes. To learn more about how we can also help you, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.