The misdemeanor version of criminal assault in Texas is commonly called “simple assault.” Although the term simple might be sued to describe the offense, defending a person charged with assault can be very difficult.
Texas state law defines assault very broadly. The definition of assault can even include the actions that do not involve actually touching another person. Most alleged assault crimes that do not result in serious bodily injury are charged as a misdemeanor.
The term “serious bodily injury” is defined in the Texas Penal Code as being a “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Felony charges for assault can also involve the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon.
If no deadly weapon was used and no serious injury occurs, the allegation of simple assault charged as a misdemeanor can still come with serious consequences.
Fort Worth Misdemeanor Assault Lawyer
Were you recently charged with simple assault in North Central Texas? You should immediately seek legal counsel for help protecting your rights and keeping your criminal record clean.
Our Fort Worth assault attorneys at Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC not only serve areas in Tarrant County like Arlington and Fort Worth, but we also represent clients in the greater Weatherford and Cleburne areas as well as communities all over Parker County and Johnson County.
Call 817-502-3600 right now to set up a free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.
Tarrant County Misdemeanor Assault Information Center
- How are assault crimes involving family or household members typically classified?
- What are the consequences of a conviction for an assault offense?
- Where can victims find more information about these crimes?
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, it is a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, including the person's spouse.
If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly threatens another person with imminent bodily injury or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative, then the crime is classified as a Class C misdemeanor.
Threatening or causing physical contact with another person can be classified as a Class B misdemeanor if the alleged offender is not a sports participant and the other person is someone who the alleged offender knows is a sports participant.
The Texas Penal Code defines a sports participant as “a person who participates in any official capacity with respect to an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or other organized amateur or professional athletic competition and includes an athlete, referee, umpire, linesman, coach, instructor, administrator, or staff member.”
Assault charges are subject to this upgrade if the alleged offender threatens or causes physical contact:
- While the participant is performing duties or responsibilities in the participant's capacity as a sports participant; or
- In retaliation for or on account of the participant's performance of a duty or responsibility within the participant's capacity as a sports participant.
An assault charge can also become a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with an elderly individual or disabled individual when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
For purposes of the assault statute, an elderly or disabled individual would include any person older than 14 years of age who by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect him or herself from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for him or herself.
Even though a misdemeanor charge is not as serious as a felony offense, a conviction can still carry some very heavy consequences. A person accused of simple assault may receive one of the following maximum sentences:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500;
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000; or
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000.
In addition to possible fines and imprisonment, it is important to understand that an assault conviction can affect a person’s life long after in many other ways. A violent crime on a criminal record can have devastating repercussions for employment, housing, or acceptance into colleges and universities.
Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) — The citizens of Fort Worth established the CCPD in 1995 and have renewed it every five years thereafter. The CCPD’s goals include supporting efforts to reduce violent crime and gang-related activities through enhanced enforcement activities and crime prevention programs as well as efforts to increase the safety of residents and to decrease crime throughout Fort Worth neighborhoods. On this website, you can learn more about the CCPD’s Board of Directors, the District’s partners, and budget reports.
City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Tarrant County — MHA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that strives to enhance mental health and improve the lives of those impacted by mental health. You can learn more about the agency’s services for individuals and family members on this website. Additional information includes videos, fact sheets, a community resource database, and more.
Mental Health America of Greater Tarrant County
3136 West 4th Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Find a Lawyer for Domestic Assault Charges in Fort Worth, TX
If you have been arrested for alleged simple assault in North Central Texas, it is in your best interest to have legal representation as soon as possible. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC represents clients accused of violent crimes all over Tarrant County, including in Fort Worth and Arlington.
Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys also fight to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed for residents of Cleburne, Weatherford, and surrounding communities in Johnson County and Parker County. Call 817-502-3600 or submit an online form today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.