Is Assault a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

In the last five years, Houston in Texas has seen a steep rise in violent crimes rather than property crimes. The crime rate in Houston is more than 96.4 percent compared to other US cities.

If you have recently been charged on criminal grounds, you can choose the best Houston assault lawyer to fight your case. 

What is an Assault?


An assault is considered a serious crime in Houston. It can include a threat to a person. Even if there is no personal contact but the victim feels threatened or cornered, a warning to cause injury is also considered a criminal assault.

Assaults in Houston can be classified as:

  • A Simple Assault where the victim suffers only minor injuries

  • A Verbal Assault causing emotional and mental disturbance to the victim

  • Rape and molestation are categorized as sexual assault

  • When the crime takes an aggravated level, and the victim can get seriously injured, it is considered a physical assault.

  • A Felonious Assault is a serious crime using deadly weapons that inflicts a high level of injury to the victim.

How to Differentiate Between a Misdemeanor and Felony Assault?

According to federal and state laws, an assault can either be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Misdemeanor Assault


A lesser level of crime that does not involve any serious violence falls under Misdemeanor assaults.

Depending on the severity of an assault, a misdemeanor can be divided into three categories:

Class C Misdemeanor: According to Texas Penal Code §12.23, if a person threatens the victim with bodily harm, the crime falls under this category. The victim can charge you with a Class C misdemeanor even if they construct an offensive or provocative behavior. There is no jail time involved in this case. The person can be charged with a fine of up to $500.

Class B Misdemeanor: According to Texas Penal Code §12.22, if a person is charged for assaulting someone during a sports event or a performance, it is a Class B misdemeanor. A person can be charged with a fine of up to $2000 or sentenced to 180 days in county jail.

Class A Misdemeanor: Per the Texas Penal Code §12.21, if a person causes physical harm to another or comes in a threatening way of contact with a senior citizen, it is considered a Class C misdemeanor in Houston. It is a dangerous crime, and the person can be sent behind bars for up to one year. The punishable fine for the assault can be up to $4000.


Felony Assault


An aggravated form of assault on a victim can be called a felony. It is a more strongly punishable crime as compared to a misdemeanor.

Third Degree Felony: According to Texas Penal Code §12.42(a) (3), if you assault a family member or a public servant on duty or commit continuous violence on a person, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. It can result in imprisonment for two to three years. The punishable charges can be up to $ 10,000 in this case.

Second Degree Felony: Texas Penal Code §12.42(b) says endangering the life of a government servant by choking or suffocating and causing serious physical injury on a close relative is considered a second-degree felony assault. It can result in imprisonment from 2 to 20 years and up to a $10,000 fine.

First Degree Felony: Under Texas Penal Code §12.42(c), an aggravated form of violence against a family member, a security officer, or a close relative is considered a third-degree felony. You can be imprisoned for life or not for more than 99 years. The fine charges are up to $10,000.

State Jail Felony: Per Texas Penal Code §12.425(a), injury to a child or an older adult is called state jail felony assault. The imprisonment time is between 180 to 730 days. You can be charged up to a $10,000 fine in this case.

Hiring the best Houston assault lawyer can help you to save yourself and fight for your legal rights.


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