Domestic violence cases can be very emotional because they often involve loved ones. Even if you are not in a relationship and simply cohabitate or live with a person, you may still be charged under the domestic violence statute. Domestic violence cases usually start as simple miscommunications or minor assaults, and are later used as leverage in civil or family law disputes.
Under the Texas Penal Code, one can be convicted of assault if one “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes or threatens bodily injury to another person,” or if one “intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another person or persons with the knowledge that the person will consider that contact to be offensive or undesirable.” (See Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)). An assault may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending upon the circumstances of the case.
If a public servant or elderly individual is assaulted, one may face greater penalties. (See Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b), (c)).
More often than not, simple assault is combined with domestic violence and orders of protection. (See Texas Penal Code § 22.01(e)). Any domestic assault - commonly referred to as Assault Family Violence (AFV) - will often be linked to family and/or civil law cases. In order to prevent criminal, civil, or personal consequences, an experienced Houston trial attorney is mandatory.
ARE YOU FACING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTION IN HOUSTON?
If you have been arrested for assault, the first course of action is to consult an attorney. Do not provide any statements to police or anyone else regarding the allegation. Assume that everyone you speak to about the charge is recording you. Assault and AFV could result in penalties that affect citizenship, child custody, firearm possession and personal freedom, like jail time.
PENALTIES FOR A FAMILY VIOLENCE CONVICTION IN TEXAS
Conviction of an assault causing bodily injury to a family member, also known as family violence, can lead to a number of life-altering and long-term penalties, including up to 1 year in jail, fines up to $4000, anger management or family violence classes, probation, and difficulty securing custody of your children. If you have a prior family violence conviction, you could face up to 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties also increase if the violence is aggravated in any way with a weapon, or if you cause injury to a child. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be prohibited from contacting the complainant for an extended period of time, thereby preventing you from spending time with your loved ones.
Unlike most criminal offenses in Texas, you can never seal your criminal record if you are convicted of a family violence crime, nor accept deferred adjudication with a finding of family violence. Due to the serious ramifications of an assault or AFV conviction, Jason Lawrence is dedicated to providing you with the most professionally aggressive defense against all types of assault charges. Depending on the severity of the offense, the punishment can range from a $500 fine to 20 year in prison. The alleged damage to the victim, the method of assault and any prior convictions or history are contributing factors in evaluating the case.