When you face assault charges in Texas, you may not realize there are different kinds of charges. To understand your particular situation, it is important to understand what kind of charge you face and why.
Most of the time, law enforcement might charge you with assault after you threaten to harm someone. FindLaw says it is important to understand that you can face assault charges even if you do not physically harm someone. This is because assault typically includes the threat to harm someone. If you harmed someone, even unintentionally, this is generally a separate charge called battery.
Your particular situation usually determines how the law views your assault charge. If you did not have a weapon and no one got hurt, some courts may consider the assault to be a misdemeanor. If you had a weapon, however, then you may face felony charges. The penalty for this offense typically depends on whether you face felony or misdemeanor charges. Your record also determines the penalty for assault. If an assault is the first serious offense on your record, a court may sometimes offer a more lenient sentence. If you have several offenses on your record, though, the penalty may be more severe.
Sometimes certain factors may mean you face aggravated assault charges. Teachers, paramedics and firefighters are sometimes considered part of a protected class, and assault on one of these individuals may result in aggravated assault charges. Additionally, you may face this more serious charge if you caused serious injury to someone or used a deadly weapon. In this situation, you typically face felony charges and the penalty is generally more severe.
This information is general in nature. You should not use it in place of legal advice.