A variety of activity and conduct can result in assault charges, including actions such as threatening another individual, placing someone in imminent harm or danger, causing the injury of another individual, or attempting to cause harm to another individual. Depending on the severity of the incident, in an assault case, prosecutors must be able to prove that the person charged:
- deliberately, knowingly, or recklessly injured another person
- deliberately or knowingly threatened someone with imminent injury
- deliberately or knowingly caused physical contact with someone that the offender knows or should have reasonably known would be provocative or offensive to the victim
The State of Texas treats the juvenile offenders differently than adult defendants. Unlike the adult criminal system, juvenile cases are largely governed by the Texas Family Code. Also, juvenile delinquency is treated with the goal of rehabilitation instead of punishment. Instead of being convicted and prosecuted as a criminal offender, a juvenile is generally prosecuted for “delinquency” in Texas. Similar to the adult criminal justice system though, juveniles maintain the right to a trial by jury. However, unlike with adults, the judge, rather than a jury, determines the punishment of a child adjudicated delinquent for committing a criminal act.
The State of Texas can prosecute any assaults causing injury, even if the injuries are not serious. If the injuries are serious, however, the case may be be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Whatever the charge may be, potential punishments include probation, community service, anger management classes, substance abuse treatment programs, placement in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, restitution, repayment, and fines.