Any case of physical assault in Texas is taken seriously. If you’ve been charged with domestic or family violence recently, you could face stiff penalties and the loss of some privileges.
Family Violence in Texas: An Overview
Family violence is defined by the Texas Family Code as any of the following:
1. An act by a family or household member against another family or household member that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
2. Abuse…by a family member or household member toward a family member or household member’s child.
3. Dating violence… is an act committed by an individual against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship with the intent of causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Family and household members cover a wide range of relationships (including some that aren’t blood or legally recognized):
- Spouses (current or previous);
- Parents who have a kid together;
- Parent and kid in foster care;
- Blood, marriage, or adoption relatives;
- Co-residents who are currently or have previously lived with you;
- Current or previous romantic or dating partners.
Assault in the Home
A person may be found guilty of assault if they commit any of the following acts:
- Intentionally or recklessly injuring another person’s body;
- Intentionally putting another person at danger of bodily harm;
- Making intentionally provocative or offensive touch.
If any of these behaviors are carried out by family and household members, an assault accusation may be escalated to domestic assault. Domestic assault charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
To be classified as aggravated domestic assault, a crime must result in substantial bodily injury to another person and/or entail the use or display of a lethal weapon (ie. firearm, baseball bat, rope, certain large knives). Broken bones, amputation of a limb, or any damage that necessitates hospitalization are all examples of “severe physical harm.”
Domestic assault charges vary from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony for aggravated domestic assault.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
Committing two or more domestic attacks in a twelve-month period is considered continuous violence against the family.
It’s vital to understand that previous domestic attacks do not have to result in an arrest or a guilty verdict in order for you to be convicted of family violence. Both violations do not have to be committed against the same individual.
In Texas, domestic violence is classified as a third-degree crime.
What if I Was Falsely Charged with Domestic Violence?
A conviction for family violence carries severe consequences, including a criminal record, a prison sentence, a no-contact order, and the loss of certain firearm privileges. If you believe you have been wrongfully accused of assault or domestic violence, our staff will work tirelessly to uncover the facts and clear your name.
Ray Hindieh knows what you’re up against and what it takes to win a fight as a former prosecutor. If you’ve been charged with domestic abuse, call 214-Release (214.960.1458) to reach Hindieh Law, PLLC, and claim your free initial consultation with our experienced Dallas family violence defense attorney.