You may think you have to physically hit or attack another person to be charged with assault. This is not the case. An assault can be committed with causing injury or without contact. Under the Texas Penal Code, assault is defined in three ways, namely:
1 When a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. The victim can be the offender’s spouse.
2 When a person knowingly or intentionally causes physical contact to another. An assault charge can be brought when he or she knows, or should reasonably believe that the victim will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
3 – When a person intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury. The victim may be a spouse.
A threat of violence can be enough for a police officer to bring an assault charge. However, there are cases in which the person who claims to have been assaulted may have misinterpreted a statement or action by the defendant.
We provide more information about simple assault here on our website. Simple assault is defined as causing offensive contact to another individual when the defendant knew or should have known the other person would regard the action as offensive.
A simple assault involving a threat of physical harm or offensive contact is usually a Class C misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, you can face a fine up to $500 or jail time of up to a year. Probation is another option. In some circumstances, a threat can be treated more seriously.
When the victim of the threat is elderly or disabled, the crime becomes a Class A misdemeanor.
If the person making the threat is aware the victim is an athlete or a sports official taking part in a sporting event, he or she can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor.
If the offender threatens the victim in retaliation for his or her performance in an athletic event, the crime becomes a Class B misdemeanor.
For a threat to become an assault, the victim must fear imminent bodily harm. If you are charged with an assault in these circumstances there are a variety of defenses.