People think that assault is the act of physically injuring another person. It is certainly possible for one person to face assault charges in Texas if they hit, kick or even bite another person and cause injury.
The more serious the injuries that result, the more likely it is for someone to face charges after an act of physical aggression. However, you don’t have to leave lasting injuries to face assault charges in Texas. In fact, you don’t have to cause a physical injury at all.
Any of the three behaviors mentioned below could lead to assault charges under Texas law.
Offensive physical touch
If you know that a woman belongs to a conservative religion that does not allow her to have physical contact with a man and you grab her elbow or touch the small of her back with your palm, those actions may offend that person and their sense of ethics.
A broad range of physical actions and touches could be offensive to the other party. In Texas, if the other party believes that you intentionally offended them through touch, they could file a complaint with the police and claim that your touch was an act of assault.
Threatening body language
Have you ever tried to get someone to stop arguing with you by intimidating them non-verbally? Looming over someone else or pulling your fist back like you intend to punch someone could put that other person in a state of serious fear for their own well-being.
The implied threat is what gets them to stop arguing with you or defuses the situation. However, actions that leave someone afraid for their own safety constitute assault under Texas law.
Verbal or written threats
Your body language isn’t the only way that your actions could cause fear in another person that leads to assault charges. If you makeover threats against another person, those threats may constitute assault. Things that you say to someone’s face during an argument and the things that you write in text messages or on social media could lead to allegations of assault.
Recognizing the relatively broad definition that Texas has for assault can help you avoid mistakes that lead to violent criminal charges in the future.