Assault and battery can be serious offenses under Texas law with significant penalties. The prosecutor can bring charges of both assault and battery as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the facts of the case and the severity of the victim’s injuries. As a result, you should not take these criminal charges lightly or assume that you can handle the situation on your own. Instead, turn to former prosecutors Keith and Kevin Harris. Keith and Kevin focus their criminal defense practice throughout the communities in Dallas. Contact Harris & Harris Law Group today to learn about your legal rights, explore your options, and develop a strong defense strategy for your situation.

Distinguishing Between Assault and Battery under Texas Law

The crime of Assault occurs when you attempt to injure another person using force or violence, or you intentionally place another person in fear of suffering such harm. On the other hand, Texas law defines Battery as offensive or harmful physical contact with another person. In many cases, Battery results in actual physical harm to another person. However, in other cases, Battery simply involves offensive touching that the person does not want to occur.


Criminal Penalties for Assault and Battery under Texas Law

Various factors help determine whether an assault or battery charge is a misdemeanor or a felony and, therefore, the severity of the penalty imposed. The circumstances that led to the incident at issue, the seriousness of the victim’s injuries, the involvement of a deadly weapon, the nature of the victim and the motivation behind the incident all contribute to the determination of the appropriate sentence for an assault or battery charge. For instance, if an assault proves to be a hate crime or involves attempted injury to a young child, the prosecutor may file more serious charges than in a simple assault case.

Additional Penalties for Assault and Battery

Depending on the situation, incidents that constitute assault and/or battery may involve civil penalties, as well. For instance, a domestic violence situation may result not only in criminal battery charges, but also in a civil protective order, which can significantly limit your freedom and activities. The imposition of a civil protective order also can impair your ability to carry or purchase a gun. Furthermore, an incident that causes serious injuries to the victim may subject you to a civil lawsuit for the purposes of recouping the financial costs of the injuries, such as medical bills.