Domestic Violence in Texas: Classifications and Consequences
Domestic violence is a serious issue, and Texas doesn’t take it lightly. In Texas, domestic violence is a violent act committed by a defendant against any of the following individuals:
- A member of the defendant’s household;
- A family member of the defendant;
- A person with whom the defendant has a child or children;
- A former or current spouse of the defendant;
- A foster parent or foster child of the defendant;
- A child of a former spouse or partner of the defendant;
- A person with whom the defendant has had an ongoing dating or romantic relationship with.
Types of domestic violence
Texas classifies domestic violence crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. One may be charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor in Texas when:
- He or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person;
- He or she intentionally or knowingly threatens another individual with bodily injury; or
- He or she intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another individual that he or she knew or reasonably should have known the victim would find provocative or offensive.
A misdemeanor conviction can result in a fine of up to $4000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Domestic violence felonies in Texas are classified as follows:
- A defendant can be charged with a first-degree felony when he or she commits aggravated assault against a family member with a weapon and causes serious injury.
- A defendant can be charged with a second-degree felony when he or she: 1) commits aggravated assault against a family member, or 2) chokes a family member and has a previous domestic violence charge.
- A defendant can be charged with a third-degree felony when he or she: 1) commits aggravated assault against a family member and has a previous aggravated assault conviction, or 2) chokes a family member.
A felony conviction in Texas can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 99 years. In addition, an individual convicted of a domestic violence felony in Texas can lose certain rights, such as the ability to carry a firearm.
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Due to the severity of the consequences, legal representation is imperative when facing criminal charges in Texas. Therefore, if you’re facing criminal charges of any kind in Texas, including domestic violence charges, it’s important that you engage the services of an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer in order to achieve the best possible results in your case. Since 1995, I have successfully defended clients against all types of criminal charges, including domestic violence charges. My team has a proven track record of winning acquittals at trial, and we also frequently have our clients’ charges dismissed or reduced. In addition, when a case results in a conviction, we are always ready and willing to appeal the decision. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, please contact Phil Baker, P.C., for a consultation.
Posted in: Criminal Defense