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Assault and battery is a legal term that combines assault with the separate charge of battery. Assault is defined as the wrongdoing of making someone reasonably fearful of imminent danger. This means that fear must be something that a reasonable person would consider harmful to them. On the other hand, Battery is the actual wrongdoing of harming someone.

Our Texas assault and battery attorneys at Egbuonu Law have extensive expertise in fighting for victims of assault and violence. For years, we have fought on behalf of clients who have suffered emotional and physical harm as a result of these attacks.

Difference between Assault and Battery Cases

Although the terms assault and battery are frequently used interchangeably, they are distinct legal terms that are recognized as separate causes of action under Texas law.

The following are descriptions and examples of assault and battery:

  • Assault: An assault is a deliberate act that instills fear of imminent harm. There does not have to be real physical contact for a victim to file an assault claim. Someone waving a gun at you or raising their fists and threatening to hit you is an example of an assault. Physical touch can be either actual or suggested.
  • Battery: Battery occurs when there is genuine physical contact that results in physical harm. A battery is the actual harmful strike or touch, whereas an assault is the threat of harmful contact. Almost every battery includes an assault, and both are intentional acts.

Defending Yourself Against an Assault or Battery Charge in Texas

Whether your claimed crime is assault or battery, the elements required to beat an assault charge are the same.  In Texas, some frequent defenses to assault charges include:

  • Self-defense: You could claim that you felt intimidated or in imminent harm and had to defend yourself. You must demonstrate that the force employed was both reasonable and required.
  • Defense of others: If you were compelled to protect another person, you may argue that your actions were reasonable and justified to keep them safe.
  • Property defense: Also known as “Stand Your Ground,” Texas law empowers you to defend your property if you believe it is in imminent danger of being damaged.
  • Consent: If you have proof that the person consented to your acts, such as fighting, you may be able to argue that you are not at fault. Consent is not a defense to statutory rape (Texas Penal Code Chapter 21).

If you are arrested for assault, you must determine if your charges are for a battery or a lesser assault offense. This is the stage at which your defense attorney will study and examine the evidence against you to defend the state’s charges.

Degrees of Assault

In Texas, assault is classified into three degrees based on the seriousness of the threat and the motive behind it.

  1. Class C Misdemeanor Assault (Simple Assault)

The least serious type of assault is Class C Misdemeanor Assault. It is the intentional instillation of fear in another person, including verbal threats, without physical action. A Class C misdemeanor is the lowest level of criminal violation, usually punishable by a fine.

  1. Class A Misdemeanor Assault

A class Misdemeanor Assault is the willful infliction of physical harm on another person. It’s critical to recognize that physical harm includes more than simply obvious signs; it also includes pain, discomfort, or any type of physical disability.

  1. Felony Assault

A felony assault is defined as causing substantial physical harm to another person or using or displaying a lethal weapon during the commission of the assault. “Serious physical injuries” are defined as injuries that put a person’s life in danger or result in long-term disfigurement or incapacity. The penalties for felony assault are high, including significant penalties and imprisonment.

Statute of Limitations for Texas Assault and Battery cases

The statute of limitations for certain offenses is addressed in Chapter 12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Murder and manslaughter have no statute of limitations, whereas felony charges like arson and forgery have a ten-year statute of limitations. Unless a felony is specifically mentioned as falling within a specific statute of limitations, the statute of limitations will be three years. This means that a felony assaultive act, such as assaulting a public worker or committing a repeat assaultive offense against a family member, would most likely have a three-year statute of limitations. An indictment may be presented at any time throughout the three-year term beginning with the alleged offense date.

Contact our skilled Texas Assault and Battery Attorney Right away!

At Egbuonu Law, we believe that everyone deserves the best defense possible, and we are here to assist you. As soon as you are charged, our skilled Texas assault and battery attorneys can begin working with you. We keep you from making mistakes that might harm your case, defend your rights, and may even be able to get your case dismissed.