Law Information

Can You Be Charged With Criminal Battery in Texas?

assault vs. batteryAssault vs. battery are some serious business. Find out how these charges differ in Texas from other states.

Texas is the largest state, but how much freedom do you have when charged with assault or battery? It depends on the situation.

You, too, can learn the difference between assault, battery, and their respective charges in Texas.

The following information will help you learn about assault and battery charges in Texas.

Texas: Assault vs. Battery

Historically, assault means one person threatens another person with bodily injury. Meanwhile, battery is actually committing the bodily injury against someone else. In most states, assault and battery are two separate charges with different penalties.

This is not the case in Texas. In Texas, assault vs. battery are both filed under “assault.” Nobody gets charged for battery because the word doesn’t exist in the Texas Penal Code.

It doesn’t matter whether a case involved actual battery or not – It will still be charged as an assault.

In the Texas Penal Code, battery is not a separate offense, but it is clearly included the assault statute. Texas interprets assault as “intentionally or knowingly” threatening another person with physical injury OR “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” causing injury to another person.

Assault charges also include any physical contact that is seen as offensive or provocative to another person. You can still be charged with assault if you didn’t physically harm anyone. As long as the victim felt physically threatened by your actions, it can count towards an assault charge.


There are certain factors that make a difference in your sentencing. The relationship between the victim and the offender matters.

It also matters of the victim was some kind of public servant. Then the assault charge will be a third-degree felony.

If some type of strangulation occurred, then the charges will also be more severe. This could be read as an attempt to take someone’s life.

Previous convictions also make a big difference in the kind of charge and punishment you’ll get. Having a dirty record can put you in a worse position with the law than you were before.

Get a lawyer to help further explain the differences to you.


Texas recognizes that not all assaults are created equal. To recognize this, the state has different punishments depending on the assault’s severity.

Assault charges are not taken lightly by the law. The punishments for assault charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor up to a 1st Degree Felony.

You can get a Class C misdemeanor for what is known as “simple assault.” This charge can involve bodily injury and provocative or offensive physical contact, but also includes threats.

If the victim was a dating partner, family member, or household member, then a second-degree felony charge will be applied. This will also happen if the incident involved choking and if the offender was charged in the past for a similar act.

Once again, a lawyer can help you navigate the potential consequences and even reduce them.

Justice is Waiting to be Served

Being on either side of an assault charge can be distressing. Whether you’re the victim or the offender, it’s still stressful.

You need to know the law before getting further entangled in the drama.

Contact an expert to learn more about assault vs. battery charges in Texas. You won’t regret it.