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3 different behaviors that constitute assault under Texas law

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In Texas, as elsewhere in the United States, it is illegal to intentionally injure other people. The Texas assault statute serves as a deterrent against acts of aggression and also provides the basis for the prosecution and punishment of interpersonal conflicts that spiral out of control.

People tend to have a very simplistic understanding of assault, which might eventually lead to them getting into unnecessary legal trouble or anticipating an easy defense against criminal charges when the state actually has a strong case against them. Those who understand the multiple different actions that constitute assault in Texas will be in a better position to work with an attorney to defend against criminal charges. These are acts that state law identifies as assault.

Acts of physical aggression

The definition that most people think of when discussing assault is one person physically attacking and injuring another person. Intentionally causing bodily harm to another individual could very well lead to assault charges under Texas law. Such acts do not necessarily have to produce significant or lasting injuries to constitute assault, although cases involving deadly weapons and severe bodily injury may result in more serious assault charges and penalties.

Intentional intimidation

Some people try to threaten others in a display of interpersonal dominance. Putting other people in fear for their physical safety through one’s words, writing or body language could potentially lead to assault charges. No actual injury or physical contact is necessary for assault charges based on the intentional intimidation of another party. Such charges are often pursued as Class C misdemeanor offenses, which is the lowest category of charges possible for an assault in Texas.

Offensive contact

There are some forms of physical contact that are offensive. Examples might include groping an individual or engaging in conduct that someone knows violates another person’s religious beliefs. Particularly if the person targeted in the incident is an older adult, Texas prosecutors may bring charges against those accused of making physical contact with the intent to offend or insult.

Those who understand the rules that apply to assault charges in Texas and what might lead to prosecution will be in a better position to defend against the accusations they face. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the different types of assault charges and the possible penalties involved may benefit those recently arrested because of an interpersonal conflict.