A simple assault charge will usually not carry too harsh of a penalty. It may even be a misdemeanor in most cases. However, there are certain elements that could elevate this crime and bring about a harsher charge and sentence.
The Texas Constitution and Statutes notes that assault is when you injure someone else, have unwelcomed physical contact with someone else or threaten physical harm to someone else.
Your charge may become a felony of the second degree if the person whom the court says you assaulted is a judge or law enforcement officer. Also, some domestic incidents fall into this category.
If the person against whom the court accuses you of assault is a public servant of any kind, then your charge becomes a third-degree felony. You also could face a higher charge and domestic violence charges if the person is a relative of yours or lives in your home.
You may also face enhanced charges if the person is pregnant, an emergency services worker or a security guard.
If you are in jail or prison at the time of the incident and the person is a worker at the facility, then your charge becomes a third-degree felony.
You may also face higher misdemeanor charges for certain situations. For example, if the person is elderly or disabled, then it enhances your charge. You also could face a higher misdemeanor for assault involving someone participating in sports if the incident occurs during the sporting event.
In most cases, if you already have an assault charge on your record, the prosecutor will increase your charges.