Accusations of assault are serious. Some assault charges are misdemeanors, but others may be classified as felonies. There are specific circumstances when a Texas resident may face felony assault crimes instead of misdemeanors. This post will discuss some of the circumstances that differentiate misdemeanor and felony assault charges in the state, but readers are reminded that this post does not provide legal advice. Those with questions about assault and criminal charges in general can discuss their inquiries with their trusted local criminal defense lawyers.
What is assault?
An assault happens when specific elements are met. Those elements include, but are not limited to:
- Intentional or reckless contact with another person that results in bodily injury;
- Intentional threats of imminent bodily injury against another person; or
- Intentional physical contact with another person that is reasonably known to be offensive to the alleged victim.
Depending on who is the alleged victim in an assault charge, the defendant’s charges may be misdemeanors or felonies.
Misdemeanor vs. felony
As mentioned, who the alleged victim in an assault charge is can alter whether a defendant’s charges will be misdemeanors or felonies. For example, if the alleged victim is a public servant or an individual engaged in the delivery of emergency services, an assault charge may be escalated to a felony. Similarly, alleged assaults committed against individuals who are in relationships with or live in the households of alleged perpetrators may be charged as felonies.
Whether an assault defendant has been charged with assault in the past can have bearing on whether their charges will be as felonies or misdemeanors. As readers can tell, the specific details of an assault charge can have a lot of influence on how it is handled by criminal prosecutors. To meet any type of assault charge, however, an individual can seek the advice and representation of a committed criminal defense lawyer for guidance.