Some individuals in Texas may have been unaware that he or she can be charged with assault without ever touching anyone else. If an officer supposedly witnessed you simply threaten to physically harm another person, this can be enough to warrant an arrest. Usually this only constitutes a misdemeanor charge.
Unfortunately, a common misconception for those facing assault charges is the idea that these types of charges can simply be dropped. Although it may be true that the alleged victim does not wish for the accused to face criminal charges, these charges stem from the state and not from any one individual. Even if an individual is ultimately cleared of the charges, the arrest will stick around on his or her criminal record, which potential future employers may see.
Conviction of an assault charge can carry relatively steep penalties, even for those who were found guilty of only verbally threatening a person. Fines can range from $500 all the way up to a hefty $5,000 penalty. Additionally, a person could end up with a year-long jail sentence.
This information as well as potential consequences for other criminal charges are outlined in a book concerning Texas laws and how they can affect both a felony and misdemeanor charge. The book is currently on its third edition, highlighting the ever-evolving nature of the law. Those accused of assault, even if the charges stem from a simple verbal incident rather than any actual physical action, may benefit by working with counsel to prepare a focused and intelligent defense amid the changing nature of the law.
Source: star-telegram.com, “Book outlines penalties for common (and uncommon) crimes in Texas”, Teresa McUsic, Nov. 7, 2014