Assault Against a Family Member
Assault against a family member is called Domestic Violence. It is a serious offense in Texas and can have severe consequences. A first-time conviction of assaulting a family member is a class A misdemeanor.
If you are convicted or receive deferred adjudication, any subsequent charges for the same offense will be treated as a felony. Regrettably, during times of turmoil within domestic relationships, law enforcement often acts swiftly. They make arrests without possessing all the relevant information.
Facing charges of assault against a family member or domestic violence can have a long-term effect on your reputation. This is true even if you are not convicted, the court of public opinion can be hard to sway.
Texas Criminal Defense Group comprehends the challenges you are facing and will provide unwavering support throughout the entire process. Retaining our services will give you access to an experienced and skilled attorney. Additionally, we will make every effort to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
What is Assault Against a Family Member
According to Texas Advocacy Project 1 in 3 Texans will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. In the state of Texas, Assault Against a Family Member/Domestic Violence encompasses the following:
- Committing an act of assault is prohibited. This includes people living with you, those related to you by blood, and those you have a romantic involvement with. Defensive actions are not included. This includes threats that cause fear. These threats can include attack, bodily harm, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse to a family member.
- Abuse of a child can occur within a family or household. However, it may be perpetrated by any member of the same family or household.
- Dating violence occurs when one person acts against another person with whom they have or had a dating relationship. Such acts can include physical, psychological, or emotional harm. This includes acts that are expected to cause bodily injury or physical harm. Additionally, it includes sexual assault between individuals in a dating relationship.
- It also covers threats that create a reasonable fear of impending physical harm, physical injury, or sexual violence. However, defensive measures taken by an individual to protect themselves are not included in this definition.
What is Considered a Family Violence Relationship
Determining whether a relationship falls within the definition of a “dating relationship” can be challenging. Factors such as the duration, nature, frequency, and type of interaction between the parties will be considered. The definition of this situation can be unclear. Therefore, it is essential to find help from a knowledgeable criminal law attorney.
Texas law requires specific types of relationships for family violence, such as domestic abuse and dating violence. Additionally, this is outlined in Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code. These relationships include:
- Family members
- Household members
- Individuals in a “dating/intimate relationship”
The terms discussed have broad definitions. These definitions cover a variety of scenarios.
- People who are currently or have previously been in a romantic relationship.
- Married couples
- People who live together
- Children in the household, including foster children
- Foster parents
Penalties for Domestic Violence
The penalties for domestic violence can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the offense. However, in general, domestic violence is treated as a serious crime, and the penalties can include the following:
- Criminal Charges: Domestic violence charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the severity of the offense and any prior convictions. Misdemeanor charges typically result in shorter jail sentences, fines, probation, mandatory counseling or anger management programs, and protective orders. Felony charges can lead to longer prison sentences, significant fines, and more severe consequences.
- Restraining Orders: The court may issue restraining orders or protective orders in many cases. These orders prevent the accused individual from contacting or approaching the victim. Violating a restraining order can lead to additional criminal charges and penalties.
- Mandatory Counseling or Treatment: Courts often require individuals convicted of domestic violence to take action. They must attend counseling or treatment programs. These programs may include anger management classes, domestic violence intervention programs, or substance abuse treatment if applicable.
- Loss of Custody or Visitation Rights: If the offender has children with the victim, domestic violence convictions can result in the loss of custody or visitation rights. The court’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of the children involved.
- Criminal Record: A domestic violence conviction can lead to a lasting criminal record. This record can have implications for future job prospects, housing options and relationships.
It is important to note that penalties can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of each case. Consulting with a legal professional is important. They should specialize in domestic violence cases. This will help you understand the penalties that could apply to your situation.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced assault lawyer. A hired criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney we can review the facts of your criminal case, investigate the charges against you. Above all, we develop a strong legal defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.