Assaultive offenses are crimes against the person that involve causing or threatening bodily harm or making offensive or provocative physical contact. Among the assaultive offenses described in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code are assault and aggravated assault.
Assault is usually a misdemeanor, although if the victim is a family member of yours, a significant other or a public servant, it can rise to the level of a felony. Aggravated assault is either a first- or second-degree felony. To understand what constitutes aggravated assault, you first have to understand what an assault is.
You can face assault charges if you cause bodily injury to another person by intentional action. If your reckless behavior results in bodily injury to someone else, you can still face assault charges even if you did not mean to cause harm. It is enough that you intentionally acted in a way that you knew, or should have known, could cause harm to someone else.
However, you do not actually have to cause bodily harm to face assault charges. They could still apply if you intentionally made physical contact with someone else knowing that the other person would find it offensive or if you threatened imminent bodily harm against someone else without following through.
An aggravated assault is an act that meets the criteria of an assault as already described but with extra factors present that make the offense more serious. For example, you could face charges of aggravated assault if you exhibited a deadly weapon or used it to inflict bodily injury. Even if you did not use a deadly weapon, you could also face aggravated assault charges if the other person suffered serious bodily injury. The difference between bodily injury and serious bodily injury is a legal distinction.