In Texas, assault generally refers to any physical action made toward another individual that causes an injury. Under certain circumstances, a push or touch may lead to allegations of assault if an individual believes that you intended to cause bodily harm.

If you get into a fight with another member of your household, you may find yourself facing a misdemeanor assault charge. As noted in Texas Penal Code Chapter 22, however, law enforcement may upgrade an offense to aggravated assault if you had a weapon or if recklessness caused bodily injury. Aggravated assault may result in a felony conviction with harsher penalties.

How does recklessness result in an aggravated assault charge?

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the definition of recklessness means acting “careless” or “indifferent” towards the welfare of another individual. For example, if your spouse started shouting, and you knowingly and intentionally grabbed your spouse by the neck without concern for causing bodily injury, the law may view it as recklessness.

Even if an individual does not intend to cause any harm, the result of the act may lead to a serious injury. By cutting off an individual’s circulation, for example, the offense may upgrade to a felony aggravated assault charge under The Lone Star State’s laws.

How may I defend against an aggravated assault charge?

Sometimes, an imminent or perceived threat of violence causes an individual to act quickly and recklessly in self-defense. You may counter a prosecutor’s allegations with proof that your sole intent was to protect yourself or your children.

Evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, may help prove your position. Images or video footage of an incident may also assist in counteracting an aggravated assault charge.