Assault is a term that is most commonly associated with acts of violence toward another person. However, the legal definition is not quite this simple.
There are three key components to the crime of simple assault in Texas. An assault charge can have serious implications on your life and future, so it’s important to gain a further understanding of this issue. The key components of simple assault are addressed in further detail below.
When there was bodily injury
The law relating to simple assault is outlined in the Texas Penal Code Chapter 22. The accused must have intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused, or threatened to cause bodily injury to another person. An assault charge can also be lodged if the accused has intentionally or knowingly engaged in provocative or offensive physical contact with another person.
Bodily injury in this case simply amounts to physical pain. If an individual has committed an act that has bruised or cut the affected party, then assault charges may apply. Where injuries are more severe, for instance, if the actions of the accused have resulted in hospitalization or broken bones, then simple assault charges might be raised to aggravated assault charges.
What if there was no injury?
Crucially, the legislation also states that assault can occur by provocative or offensive acts. Physical injury is not necessary. If the accused behaves in a manner that suggests they are going to physically harm another person, this can amount to an assault.
What if there was no intent?
Often, specific intent is required for criminal offenses. Nonetheless, where intent cannot be established, recklessness could be enough to warrant assault charges. For instance, if the accused had knocked someone over to skip in front of a busy line to get on the bus, it is possible that assault charges may apply.
A conviction for assault can have serious ramifications on your life. If you are facing such charges, make sure you seek legal guidance so that you can begin to build the best possible defense strategy.