Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Domestic Violence Charges | Law Firm of Brett H. Pritchard (2023)

Life is nothing but stressful, and we tend to take that stress out on those we love most. Even daily life in a confined space does not help. Arguments can get heated and a moment of overreaction can lead to allegations of domestic violence. In fact, during the peak of the pandemic, when stress and togetherness (relating to immediate family) were at an all-time high, those fees increased significantly. We are all human and can make mistakes, but a domestic violence conviction on your record can cause significant damage and affect your future. A better understanding of the charge with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions can be helpful, but the most important step you can take is to contact a dedicated Killeen criminal defense attorney who has significant experience in successfully handling charges.

What Are the Domestic Violence Laws in Texas?

There are no specific laws dealing with thisdomestic violencein the state of Texas. Instead the statepersonal injury lawscarry these fees. However, if the charge involves a family member, someone the accused is dating, or someone living in the same household, additional penalties and restrictions may apply. In Texas, assault charges are divided into minor and aggravated assault.

Simple assault charge

A simple assault charge is made when a person is accused of knowingly or recklessly engaging in any of the following acts:

  • harming another person

  • Threaten another person with immediate harm

  • Any kind of physical contact with another person that the defendant knew or should have known would be provocative or offensive to the other person

heavy hit

Charges of grievous bodily harm will be charged when a person is accused of knowingly or recklessly engaging in any of the following acts:

  • Cause serious harm to someone else

  • Using or holding a deadly weapon while attacking another person

When does assault become domestic violence?

While allegations of domestic violence are commonly associated with arguments between spouses, this is not necessarily the case. In the state of Texas, any of the following relationships are sufficient:

In some situations, the current partner of a former spouse or partner may also be included in this group.

What is domestic violence?

ÖTexas-Familiencodeuses the following language to define domestic violence: An act by one member of a family or household against another member of the family or household, aimed at causing physical harm, bodily harm, physical harm, or sexual assault, or an appropriate threat puts the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily harm, assault or sexual assault, but does not contain any defensive measures for their own protection. The law continues to define dating abuse and violence. There are three specific onesallegations of domestic violencewithout Texas.

domestic violence

domestic violenceCharges start at the low end of the scale (although all domestic violence charges are exceptionally serious) with household batteries. A household battery involves knowingly or intentionally harming a family member (or other person referred to in the above classification).

Serious Domestic Violence

Aggravated household batteries involve an aggravating factor that distinguishes them from simple household batteries. Aggravated domestic battery means seriously injuring a family member (or person specified in the classification above) or using or wielding a deadly weapon in committing an assault on a person in the classification above.

Persistent violence against the family

The charge of continuous domestic violence applies when there are at least two separate incidents of domestic violence within a 12-month period. This more serious charge can be made even if one of the charges does not result in a conviction or even a prison sentence.

Can the person who made the original report retract it?

Once a domestic violence report is filed, it is no longer in the hands of the person who originally filed the report. Although the prosecutor is required to examine the applicant's request to have the charges dropped, he is not obliged to do so. In fact, the prosecutor can bring charges even if all parties agree that there was a misunderstanding. In addition, a plaintiff who does not wish to press charges may even be subpoenaed and required by law to testify against the person against whom he originally filed the lawsuit.

Working closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a world of difference in a difficult situation like this. Often the careful gathering of evidence serves to show that the police may have formed an opinion on the matter too quickly, may have taken statements from key parties or eyewitnesses out of context, and/or may not have investigated the matter in sufficient depth. 🇧🇷 Just because the police arrested you for domestic violence doesn't mean you're guilty, and building your strongest defense is key.

How common is domestic violence?

In a comprehensive report published in 2008, theTexas Department of Public Safety(DPS) shares the following grim statistics on domestic violence:

Domestic violence is an equal opportunity crime that affects all ages, races and socioeconomic groups.

While about 45 percent of domestic violence cases in 2008 were between spouses, that leaves 55 percent where this was not the case. Allegations of domestic violence involving parents and children are the second most common, with the remainder split largely between family members, in-laws and roommates.

What are the legal ramifications of a Texas assault conviction?

Because domestic violence charges are based on assault charges in the state of Texas, it's a good idea to understand the statutory penalties involved.

Sanctions related to simple aggression

Charges of simple assault fall into the following classifications:

  • Class C assault: A class C assault charge is usually made when the defendant has threatened to harm (without causing harm) or when the defendant engages in physical contact that is considered provocative or offensive. Although a conviction does not result in a prison sentence, a fine of up to $500 can be imposed.

  • Class A misdemeanor: A class A misdemeanor charge is usually charged when the defendant intentionally or knowingly causes harm to another person. Convictions can carry up to 1 year in prison and fines of up to $4,000.

  • Third degree assault: A charge of third degree assault generally applies if the person making the claim is a government official, works as a first responder, is a security guard, or is a government official. A conviction can carry 2 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

  • Second-degree assault: A charge of second-degree assault generally applies when the person making the claim is a law enforcement officer or judge on duty, or when the claim involves domestic violence in which the victim's air flows. A conviction may be 2nd degree up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Sometimes people convicted of simple bodily harm are also required to pay damages to the injured party, which may include reimbursement of medical treatment, counseling and/or property damage to the complainant.

Penalties related to grievous bodily harm

When the charge is aggravated assault, it generally falls into one of the following very serious categories (depending on the seriousness of the alleged crime):

A refund can also be made.

What Additional Effects Could a Domestic Violence Report Have?

In addition to fines and imprisonment, a domestic violence conviction can have serious social consequences, including interference with your civil liberties.

Your Custody Rights

Your basic parental rights can be significantly affected by a domestic violence conviction. When you're involved in a custody battle, things are much more serious. In some cases, a domestic violence conviction can even cost you custody of your children.

employment opportunities

If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, it will become public knowledge and your arrest and/or conviction could result in the loss of your current job. In addition, it can directly affect your ability to do soGet a jobIn the future. Criminal background checks are becoming more common, which means the social impact of criminal convictions of all kinds is becoming increasingly difficult to overcome. In addition, a criminal conviction can result in the immediate loss of certain types of professional licenses.

Your right to own a gun

Any criminal conviction costs you the right to own a gun (both federal and state). But even a domestic violence conviction invalidates your statutory right to own a firearm.

housing options

Owners also have access to public records of criminal convictions and are increasingly making use of the information contained therein. If you have a domestic violence conviction, renting the home or apartment of your choice can be very difficult. Also, it can affect your ability to get a home loan.

educational opportunities

A domestic violence conviction may make it difficult for you to achieve all of the following goals related to your college goals:

  • Get admission to the university of your choice

  • This is how you receive a federal student loan for attending the university of your choice

  • Live on campus with other students

How does hiring a criminal defense attorney help?

Successfully defending yourself against criminal charges is a complicated task, and having to endure the stress of dealing with the consequences of a possible conviction and being unfamiliar with the extremely demanding criminal justice system puts you at a distinct disadvantage. Your specialized criminal defense attorney will take all of the following steps to achieve the best possible resolution of your case:

  • Gather all relevant evidence to build your strongest defense

  • Communicate early with prosecutors to try to drop the charges against you or reach a settlement that is in your best interests (if applicable).

  • We help you navigate the criminal justice system and make the decisions that are right for you

Contact an experienced Killeen criminal defense attorney to get the help you need.

Brett Pritchard aThe Law Offices of Brett H. Pritchardbased in Killeen, Texas is a respected criminal defense attorney who prides himself on an impressive track record of successfully defending the legal rights of clients like you. We're here for you too, so don't waitContactor call 254-501-4040.

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