Aggravated Domestic Violence in Texas

Aggravated Domestic Violence in Texas

Understanding Aggravated Domestic Violence is crucial for those facing serious charges in Texas criminal law.

Unlike simple domestic violence cases, Aggravated Domestic Violence involves specific factors that heighten the severity of the charges. This includes the use of weapons or deadly instruments and inflicting serious physical abuse upon the victim. Furthermore, it also includes violating protective orders.

Being able to distinguish between simple and aggravated domestic violence is crucial for those navigating the legal system. This article will delve into the details of what is Aggravated Domestic Violence in Texas. Learn the legal definitions to understand how to defend yourself and protect your rights within the law.

Understanding Aggravated Domestic Violence

The Texas Penal Code defines domestic violence any act of violence, threat, or harassment committed against a family member. It can also apply to someone in a dating relationship. Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code lists different types of violence included in this category.

  • Use of Weapons or Deadly Instruments:

In Texas, if someone uses weapons like guns or knives during a violent act, they can face serious legal consequences. The law defines this act as aggravated domestic violence.

This difference shows that using deadly weapons makes the offense more serious and increases the risk and harm involved. Domestic violence charges include both the violent act and the use of deadly weapons.

  • Infliction of Serious Bodily Injury:

Texas law considers domestic violence as aggravated when it causes serious bodily harm or injuries to a victim. This surpasses the threshold of minor injuries such as bruises or scratches.

Texas law considers a domestic violence incident a serious crime based on a number of factors. It means the harm is more than just surface injuries and shows serious physical harm and danger to the victim. This act warrants a stronger legal response to ensure the protection of the victim of domestic violence.

  • Violation of Protective Orders or Restraining Orders:

In Texas, protective orders are legal safeguards against harm or harassment in domestic violence cases. Courts issue these legal safeguards with full authority. These orders set specific conditions for the accused, like maintaining distance or refraining from contact with the protected individual.

Violently breaking court orders may heighten charges from simple to aggravated domestic violence, indicating a deliberate disregard for legal authority. This behavior demonstrates a clear intention to ignore the legal system.

Distinguishing Between Simple and Aggravated Domestic Violence

The crucial distinction between simple and aggravated domestic violence in Texas hinges on the severity of the offense. Simple domestic violence, as defined by the Texas Penal Code, encompasses less severe actions.

Meanwhile, aggravated domestic involves the factors outlined above, resulting in a more serious criminal charge. Understanding these is pivotal for both individuals facing charges and their legal representatives.

Penalties and Consequences

Jail Time: 

Conviction on aggravated domestic violence charges in Texas punishable by imprisonment. The length of jail time can vary depending on the severity of the case. A first-degree felony may result in 5 to 99 years of jail time. Meanwhile, a second-degree felony can lead to 2 to 20 years behind bars.

Fines and Restitution:

Alongside jail time, fines and restitution are common penalties. These fines can range from $10,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the severity of the offense and other factors.

The victim often requires restitution to compensate for medical expenses or other losses.

Probation or Parole:

In some instances, the court may opt for probation or parole as an alternative to or in conjunction with jail time. Probation typically involves strict supervision and adherence to court-ordered conditions. Moreover, it involves long-term regular check-ins with a probation officer. The parole board may grant parole after the individual serves a portion of their sentence in jail.

Impact on Future Opportunities

  • Criminal Record and Employment

A conviction for aggravated domestic violence can result in a permanent criminal record. This record may significantly block future employment prospects. This is because many employers conduct background checks for potential employees. Certain professions such as healthcare or law enforcement may become unreachable because of a criminal history.

  • Loss of Firearm Rights:

Federal and state laws prohibit individuals with domestic violence convictions from possessing firearms. This loss of firearm rights can extend to the surrender or sale of existing firearms. Furthermore, violations can lead to more legal consequences.

  • Child Custody and Visitation Rights:

Aggravated domestic violence offenses can affect child custody and visiting rights in family court. Courts focus on children’s safety and well-being. History of domestic violence can affect custody decisions, possibly limiting or stopping physical contact.

It is important to remember that getting in touch with a criminal defense attorney is in your best interest. The criminal justice system of Texas and the United States can be confusing. However, a good criminal defense lawyer can make the process simpler for you.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If charged with aggravated domestic violence, it’s vital to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Try to reach out as soon as possible after your arrest.

When in trouble, reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney to lessen charges and build a strong defense. They’ll fight for your rights, talk to the prosecutors, and represent you in court.

At Texas Criminal Defense Group, we’ll analyze your case and create a tailored defense plan for you. We’ll handle discussions with the other side and protect your rights throughout the legal process.