Assault against a family member is a serious crime in Texas, with penalties more severe than what you would face in another assault case. Punishments include incarceration, fines, mandated counseling, restrictions on owning firearms, and more. A first-time conviction can result in a Class A misdemeanor or a felony if there are subsequent arrests for the same offense.
A Dallas assault on family member lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will be by your side protecting your rights and fighting your charges from pre- to post-trial proceedings.
Understanding the Assault on Family Member Charge in Dallas
Domestic disputes are complicated. A disgruntled family member may falsely accuse an innocent person of assault. The police officer may be too quick to arrest an alleged aggressor without examining all the facts. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg recognizes the weight of these types of cases and their impact.
Who Is a Family Member Under Texas law?
According to Texas Family Code, Sec.71.003, family members are defined as those who share the following relationships:
- Current or former spouses
- Individuals who share a common ancestor
- Individuals who are parents of the same child, regardless of their marital status
- Adoptive parents of an adopted child
- Foster parent and a foster child, irrespective of if the individuals reside together
Generally, a spouse, parents, children, or a blood relative are family members. But, under assault on a family member, any person who resides in the same household as you, such as a partner or even a roommate, can be regarded as a member of your household.
What Is Classified as Family Violence Under Texas law?
Texas Family Code, Sec.71.004 establishes the definition of family violence as follows:
- When a family member commits an act against another family or household member intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or place that family member under the imminent fear of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. This does not apply to acts that may be defensive measures to protect oneself from a perpetrator.
- Abuse committed by a family or household member towards a child of a family or household member.
- An individual commits an act of dating violence against another individual they are currently seeing or once had a relationship with. This act must be intended to cause physical harm or bodily injury or be an act of sexual assault between individuals in a dating relationship. Threats that place an ex under imminent fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or sexual assault are also included in this element of family violence.
For a free legal consultation with a Assault on Family Member Lawyer in Dallas, call (214) 696-9253
What Is an Assault Under Texas Law?
The Texas Penal Code Sec.22.01 defines assault as:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committing bodily injury to a family or household member, including the person’s spouse or children.
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening a family or household member of imminent bodily injury
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with a family or household member, knowing that the person will regard the contact as offensive or unwanted
Punching, kicking, biting, slapping, or hair-pulling a family member or someone who dwells in the same household are all examples of an assault, and so is threatening to commit such acts.
Assault on a Family Member in Dallas Comes with Harsh Penalties
The punishment for assault on a family member will differ depending on the severity of the act, if a weapon was involved, and whether the defendant has a previous conviction for assault on a family member.
If the defendant is a first-time offender who commits an assault against a family member, it will typically result in a Class A misdemeanor, which accompanies the following penalties:
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or
- A fine not exceeding $4,000
If the defendant is arrested for threatening a family member with physical or bodily injuries or offensive contact, they may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500.
Dallas Assault on Family Member Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
Some Situations May Result in Even Harsher Penalties
If the defendant commits two or more acts of assault within 12 calendar months, regardless of whether the prior crimes resulted in the defendant being arrested or convicted, they may be charged with Continuous Violence Against the Family. This is a third-degree felony, which carries the following penalties:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A fine not exceeding $10,000
In domestic violence incidents involving heinous acts such as strangulation, choking, or suffocating a family member, the defendant may be charged with a third-degree felony.
There is one more type of assault against a family member in Texas. In some cases, assault may result in significant bodily injury that includes disfigurement, loss of limbs, broken bones, loss of an organ’s functioning, or the victim nearly dying. The assault may involve a weapon in the commission of an act. Cases such as these are classified under aggravated assault against a family member, which carries second-degree felony charges. Penalties include:
- Up to 20 years in jail
- Up to $10,000 in fines
If a weapon was involved in the domestic assault and the alleged victim suffered life-threatening injuries, the defendant may be charged with a first-degree felony. This can result in a prison sentence ranging from five years to life. The defendant may also be cited a fine of up to $10,000.
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Additional Consequences for Assault on a Family Member in Dallas
In addition to the punishments mentioned above, a conviction for an assault on a family member may also force you to face additional repercussions such as:
- Difficulty securing a loan
- Difficulty obtaining jobs
- Difficulty finding a house or apartment
- Losing custody of your child
The court may issue a protective order to bar the defendant from contacting, threatening, or harming the alleged victim, their children, pets, or relatives. The judge may ask the defendant to vacate the house, car, or apartment if they share it with the alleged victim. The defendant may be arrested again if any of the conditions within the protective order are violated.
The defendant may also be indefinitely banned from possessing firearms. The defendant’s right to carry firearms may be restored if their conviction is expunged or sealed or if the defendant receives a pardon.
Seek a Free Case Review with Our Criminal Defense Team
If you are facing charges for an offense involving an assault on a family member, consider seeking the help of a criminal defense lawyer right away. These types of cases come with devastating consequences and are challenging to defend. Our legal team and your family violence attorney will investigate your case and stick with you as you navigate our complicated criminal justice system.
Remember that you are innocent unless proven guilty. Our family violence attorneys and the legal counsel at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will protect your rights through every criminal proceeding and fight to clear your name of these domestic assault allegations.
Begin by giving our legal team a call to schedule a free initial consultation. We will discuss your case and legal options and answer any questions you may have for us.