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Do you have to hurt someone to face assault charges in Texas?

by | Nov 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Some people find themselves arrested in the middle of an argument with another person or the day after a physical confrontation at a social gathering. Sometimes, concerned bystanders call for law enforcement, and other times, the other party involved in a situation decides to make a report to the police.

State authorities may charge someone with assault when interactions between people become violent. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may believe that you have a straightforward defense because the other party did not suffer serious injuries in the interaction or fight that you had.

Unfortunately, noteworthy or permanent injuries to the victim are not necessary for Texas to successfully prosecute someone for an assaultive offense.

Texas has a broad definition of assault

As many people assume, assault charges in Texas do sometimes stem from an act of violence that leaves someone else injured. Any kind of intentional physical contact that causes injury to another person meets one of the standard definitions of assault under Texas criminal law.

However, there are other actions that also constitute assault under Texas code. Putting someone in a state of fear for their immediate physical safety is also a form of assault. If you brandish a weapon, make a verbal threat or pull an arm back as though you intend to punch someone, the fear that causes in the other person could lead to assault charges.

Finally, it is possible for you to face assault charges because you initiated offensive physical contact with another person. Any kind of physical contact intended to insult or demean the other party could constitute assault and lead to criminal charges against you.

How do people defend against assault charges?

There are numerous ways that you can push back against allegations that you injured, threatened or insulted another person.

You might use an alibi to show that your arrest was an issue of mistaken identity. You might provide witness testimony or video evidence that shows you acted only to defend yourself or someone else. You could also show that the other party initiated the confrontation by becoming physical first.

There are numerous means for fighting back against pending assault charges in Texas, depending on the evidence against you.