Assault Charges

assault-chargesAssault charges can affect you even if you never intend harm to anyone

Assault charges may seem like an unlikely problem for you, but many of the people in jail for assault today would surely have said the same thing before their convictions. You can promise yourself and everyone that you know that you will never commit a crime in your life. You could swear to it and be 100% honest — but what you can’t promise or swear is that you will never be accused a of a crime.

At some point in everyone’s life they have been part of a family, in name or merely in function, sharing space, resources, and expenses. Families have problems just like people have problems. Families argue, sometimes yell, and can even be hurtful to one another.

“Assault family violence”

When there is physical violence between family members or couples involved in a dating relationship, it can become a criminal offense know as assault family violence. In Austin this is considered a Class “A” misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in Travis county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000. It also carries the added consequence of a finding of “family violence”(FV).

The collateral consequences from a finding of family violence can make your life much more difficult. You will have problems renting an apartment in many instances. The majority of places in Austin will not rent an apartment to someone with this on their record. The same can be said for employment in the Central Texas area. Additionally, you are NEVER allowed to own or use guns or ammunition again! If you are in possession of either guns or ammunition you will be facing felony charges with the possibility of doing up to 10 years in prison.

A distinction the law makes in Texas is “family member or parties that were in a dating relationship.” This law can be tricky for instances where the parties may have just met and do not know each very well.

Assault charges don’t require physical contact

In Texas there is also the criminal charge of assault. An assault charge is when one party causes another party to feel pain as the result of their intended actions. I.e., Joe gets mad at Frank and punches him. Joe has committed the offense of assault. In Texas there are two kinds of assaults seperate from assault family violence which was mentioned previously. A class “C” assault is only punishable by fine up to $500, but a Class “A” assault can result in up to a year in county jail and up to a $4000 fine. Each of these assault charges is separated by a thin and often subjective distinction based on the severity of the violence and the damage done.

Legally, assault is the attempt to harm another, while battery is the actual harming. In some situations, assault charges can be levied successfully when the assault action is a threat or threatening behavior – an act which puts a reasonable person in fear for their safety. However, simple words or insults are not enough to qualify as assault; the assailant must show through their behavior the intent to cause harm.

Can assault or battery charges be filed for touch?

The statutes on battery do vary depending on where you are. However, in central Texas, harmful or offensive touch can get an assailant convicted for assault and battery. The contact must be intentional and non-consensual. Note that because the contact must be intentional, a person cannot be convicted for battery if he or she accidentally bumps another person.