Assault vs. Battery: What’s the Difference?
“Assault and battery” is a phrase most people have heard, whether on the news or on a procedural TV show. However, this phrase often doesn’t refer to a single charge. Assault and battery are two different crimes often prosecuted together because of their similar natures. In Texas, the elements of a case against a defendant for assault and battery are the same, though there are many different classifications for different degrees of the offense.
For example, assault on its own is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening to cause bodily injury to another person. However, following through on that threat is considered “battery.” In Texas, a charge of assault (and battery) includes causing bodily injury to another person, threatening another person with bodily injury, or causing physical contact with another person against his or her consent.
The degrees of the crime depend on whether the defendant merely threatened to cause harm or actually caused damage to another individual. It’s a Class C misdemeanor if a person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in an offensive or provocative way. For example, if you threaten to beat someone up and push them to emphasize your point, you would be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
Class B misdemeanors happen if the defendant assaults someone who is a sports participant during a performance, while Class A misdemeanors happen if a person causes bodily injury to another and no other aggravating factors are present. Likewise, a Class A misdemeanor includes inflicting physical contact in an offensive way against an elderly individual.
Assault and battery would become a felony if the defendant assaulted a public servant, a family member, a person who contracts with the government, a security officer performing duties, an emergency services employee, a person the defendant is dating, or a witness or informant. Likewise, the more severe the injury caused to a person, the more serious the felony will be. An assault charge in the first degree could lead to 5 years to a lifetime in prison.
If you’re facing an assault and battery charge, make sure you do your best to avoid a conviction by talking to our skilled McKinney criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Darlina Crowder has received more than 200 acquittals over the course of her career. Let us see what we can do to defend your rights and freedom.
Contact us at (214) 981-1441 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.