Generally speaking, crimes are separated into different categories – property crimes, fraudulent crimes, drug crimes, and crimes against the person. Violent crimes, such as assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault, and criminal homicide are considered to be “crimes against the person.” In Texas, violent crimes include the following offenses:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual
- Capital Murder
A Look at Assaultive Offenses
Since people are frequently charged with assault and aggravated assault (more often than manslaughter and murder), we are going to discuss assault charges below:
Under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits assault when he or she threatens to cause bodily injury to another, or intentionally or recklessly causes bodily injury upon another, including one’s spouse. Assault is usually a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000, or up to one year in jail or a fine and incarceration.
Aggravated assault under Sec. 22.02 occurs when someone causes serious bodily injury to another person, or when the offender uses a deadly weapon while committing an assault. Aggravated assault is a felony of the second degree unless it was committed against a member of the offender’s family.
In the case of family violence, aggravated assault is a felony of the first degree. As a second-degree felony, aggravated assault is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, or by a fine not to exceed $10,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.
As a felony of the first degree; for example, in the case of child abuse or spousal abuse, aggravated assault is punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison or by life imprisonment, or by a fine not to exceed $10,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.