Legal Blog > Criminal Defense Law > Assault Causing Bodily Injury- Texas Penal Code 22.01(a)

Assault Causing Bodily Injury- Texas Penal Code 22.01(a)

What is assault causing bodily injury in Texas?

A person commits assault if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 22.01(a)(1).

“Bodily injury” is broadly defined as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Id. § 1.07(a)(8).

Any physical pain, even very minor pain, is enough legally to establish a bodily injury. Garcia v. State, 367 S.W.3d 683, 688 (Tex. Crim. App. 2012).

What’s the punishment for assault causing bodily injury?

It’s usually a Class A misdemeanor, which allows for a sentence of up to 365 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. If you assault a public servant who is performing their duties, for example, a police officer trying to arrest you, then it becomes a third-degree felony, which means up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

How do you defend an assault case?

First, can the State prove you assaulted anyone and caused bodiy injury? If they can’t prove you assaulted anyone, say the complaining witness won’t show up at trial, you can win that way. If the State can’t prove you caused any physical pain, then you are looking at a class C assault, but that’s a risky strategy since the burden of proof for pain is so low.

You also have self defense, which means you reasonably used force to defend against another person’s unlawful use of force. That’s Texas Penal Code 9.31.

You have “mutual combat”, which means the other party consented to being assaulted. Think of two people squaring off in a bar after an argument, and one person saying “c’mon hit me!” over and over. That is Texas Penal Code 22.06.

Facing an assault charge? Call Guest and Gray. We offer free consultations and have a team of former felony prosecutors ready to help you.

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