Assault may seem like a cut-and-dry crime. It is easy to assume what constitutes this act, but how the state actually categorizes it may be very different.
Knowing how Texas law defines assault can be helpful to anyone who is facing charges.
1. Physical harm
The common understanding of assault is that it happens when one person physically harms another. This might include punching another person in the face or pushing them down forcefully. Hurting someone and knowing the actions could or will harm that person is assault. This includes reckless actions where there is no intent, but the person should have known harm could result.
2. Threats of harm
Threatening to hurt another person physically is also assault. There is no requirement to actually physically touch the person.
3. Physical contact
Sometimes, simple physical contact, such as bumping someone, could be assault. For this to be assault the person committing the action should have known it would be offensive to the other person.
The definition of assault is often misunderstood. Many people believe there must be physical contact that causes serious injuries. But that is not true. Something as simple as touching someone’s arm could qualify as assault. It just depends on the intent and the knowledge of the person committing the acts that doing so could harm the other person or cause them to otherwise be upset. It’s important to note that the extent of physical harm is not valid when it comes to assault, but it could increase the charges the prosecutor files.