Texas is known for its steakhouses, saloons, cattle ranches, cowboys, and of course, its guns. It’s no secret that the Lone Star State has a tough reputation – always has and always will. However, much has changed in regards to the way the state handles physical altercations between husbands and wives, friends, co-workers, and even bar patrons.
In the past, two men would get into a bar fight and they’d both be thrown out on to the street. But these days, an altercation between two Texans, including married couples, can result in a one-way trip to jail and criminal charges for assault or aggravated assault.
So, the next time you have a disagreement with somebody, you want to think twice before you say or do anything that can lead to assault charges. Read on as we explain why this is.
Defining Assault Under Texas Law
Under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, assault, you commit the offense of assault if you:
- Intentionally cause bodily injury to another person (including your spouse),
- Recklessly cause bodily injury to another person (including your spouse),
- Threaten another person with bodily injury (including your spouse), or
- Intentionally contact another person in a manner that would be taken as offensive.
Assault under Sec. 22.01 is a Class A misdemeanor in most situations; however, it is a third-degree felony when it’s committed against a member of your family, or against a public servant, such as a police officer or firemen while they are discharging their public duties.
Under Title 3, Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, or a fine up to $4,000, or by a fine and confinement. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, or a fine up to $10,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.