Misdemeanor assault in Texas can still cause some serious legal issues for you, whether you have a criminal record, or if this will be the first instance of an offense on your record. It is important that you handle this misdemeanor charge with care, and ensure that the legal process leaves you with a positive outcome.
During your consultation, you will be able to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Worth who will get a better idea of your charges, the situation that led to your arrest, your criminal history, and the possible penalties you face. In addition, they will be able to explain the importance of good legal representation even with a misdemeanor. It is important to understand that even though a misdemeanor assault charge may ultimately end in a minor fine, it will go onto your criminal record. This record may become an issue down the road if you are applying for certain permits or licenses, or find yourself in another legal situation.
Read more about misdemeanor assault, and schedule your consultation now to get started on the path towards a strong defense.
What Is Assault?
According to the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 22, an assault is
- Reckless or intentional causing of an injury or physical harm
- Intentional threats of physical harm
- Intentional use of provocative or offensive physical contact against another person
Depending on the severity of the assault, the person who was assaulted, the relationship between the aggressor and the victim, and other details, the charges can be designated as misdemeanor, felony, or aggravated assault.
What Is Misdemeanor Assault?
Misdemeanor assault is designated as a Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the assault. Your charges can be elevated from a Class C to an A or B, or even to a felony, which can result in an increase of penalties from jail time, prison, and extensive fines.
Class A Misdemeanor Assault
A Class A assault charge is the most serious assault, and is applied to any situation where actual physical harm takes place during an assault. In addition, threats of physical harm to an elderly or disabled person are automatically upgraded to a Class A, although in a normal situation they would be considered a Class C.
Class A penalties can be up to one year in prison, as well as $4,000 in fines.
Class B Misdemeanor Assault
Class B Assaults are specific to sporting events, and are designed to protect officiants of a sporting game. This does not apply to contact between willful players in the game. Instead, it protects referees, umpires, players, and other participants from being attacked by spectators.
A Class B assault carries penalties of up to 180 days in prison, as well as fines of up to $2,000.
Class C Misdemeanor Assault
A Class C misdemeanor is any instance of an assault where there was no actual physical harm done to the victim (unless the victim is elderly or disabled). This can involve threats of violence, emotional attacks, and attempts of physical injury that do not result in actual harm.
The penalties for a Class C are fines of up to $500.
Additional Consequences Of Misdemeanor Assault
In addition to criminal charges, you may also be at risk of a civil lawsuit for your assault. The maximum fines in a assault case have no bearing on the maximum amount that your victim may be able to sue you for as personal damages.
In addition to the possibility of personal injury lawsuits, a assault on your record may complicate matters in the future. Although you may get off with a simple fine, this misdemeanor will complicate your trial if you were to be given any future charges. In those instances, you may find that another assault will be upgraded to a felony assault, simply because of your past.