People rarely go out actively seeking a fight. So, when someone is confronted by another person, it can put them on edge. Maybe someone threw a fist or got pushy, but no one was injured. Someone put into an uncomfortable position may react by accusing you of assaulting them.
But, if you were accused of assault, then why are you also being charged with assault and battery? Is there a difference between the two? Here’s what you should know:
Texas assault charges can vary by degree
Assault and battery, in most states, are considered two separate crimes. Assault isn’t the act of physically harming someone, but the act of putting someone in the position of fearing violence. Battery, on the other hand, is the physical contact between two people in an act that is offensive or violent – often leading to body damage: bruises, cuts, broken bones, internal bleeding, head injuries, spine injuries and even hospitalization.
Texas laws categorize assault and battery as just “assault.” The exact nature of the charges against you depends on the classification or “degree” of the offense.
There are three classes of misdemeanor assaults (Class C, B, and A) and three classes of felony assault (3rd, 2nd and 1st degree). An assault charge may be “aggravated” if there was the use of a weapon or the assault resulted in serious injuries. The more severe the charge, the more severe the potential fines and jail time will be.
If you fear an assault charge will do reputational damage to your name or put you behind bars, then you should seek legal assistance to explore all your possible avenues of defense.