On Sunday, the Denton Police arrested an assault suspect after a concerned citizen made a domestic violence call.
The call stemmed from an argument that took place between a man and a woman in the 700 block of Driftwood Trail. The caller reported hearing a man and a woman arguing at a home, and the caller said that he heard the woman tell the man not to hit her.
When Denton Police officers arrived at the scene, the woman was found lying in the dirt in the backyard. After conducting an investigation, the officers later arrested a 36-year-old male suspect on a charge of assault causing bodily injury.
Assaultive Offenses Under the Texas Penal Code
If someone is arrested for hitting or punching someone as in the situation between the man and the woman described above, then what kind of penalties does the defendant face if they are convicted?
Under Sec. 22.01 (a) of the Texas Penal Code, a person is guilty of "assault" when he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another individual, and this includes the person's spouse.
Assault is not limited to causing bodily injury to another, a person can be charged with assault if they threaten another with imminent bodily injury, or if they cause physical contact with another person that is considered to be offensive or provocative.
Assault in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, except it is a felony of the third degree if it is committed against a public servant while he or she is discharging their official duties, or when the offense involves either dating violence or family violence.
It can also be a third degree felony when the defendant has previous convictions for dating or family violence.
Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor:
- Up to a $4,000 fine, or
- Up to one year in jail, or
- A fine and confinement.
Penalties for a third degree felony:
- Up to a $10,000 fine, or
- Up to 10 years in prison, or
- Both a fine and confinement.