In Texas, the term “family violence” is generally used to refer to most acts that, in other states, may be referred to as domestic violence. Terms such as “dating violence” are also present in the Texas penal code, and these different terms may have significant ramifications for the possible punishment you may be facing.
If you have been charged with a crime related to family violence, dating violence, or domestic violence, a lawyer may be able to assist you in several ways. Call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
Know the Consequences of a Family Violence Conviction
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, several crimes may fall under the umbrella of “family violence”. Those crimes can include:
- Simple assault
- Aggravated assault
- Various forms of homicide if they involve a family member, spouse, or dating partner
- Kidnapping and abduction
- Robbery against a family member or spouse
- Rape, fondling, sodomy, and other forms of sexual violence
- Incest and statutory rape
Depending on the specific crime that you have been charged with, you could face a variety of possible legal outcomes that vary in their severity. Knowing these outcomes may help you better understand the possible value that a McKinney family and domestic violence lawyer could provide.
The Range of Punishments for a Family Violence Conviction
Crimes against family members are covered under multiple chapters of the Texas penal code. Two of those chapters are:
- Title 6: Offenses against the family
- Title 5: Offenses against the person
Under Title 6, Chapter 25 (offenses against the family), possible family violence-related crimes include:
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Interference with child custody
- Enticing a child
- Several custody and child support–related offenses
- Violation of a protective order brought by a person legally defined as a family member
- Continuous violence against the family
Each of these (and other crimes listed in this title and chapter of the Texas penal code) carries its own possible punishment. Additional crimes that may be considered family violence fall under Title 5 of the Texas penal code. Some of those crimes fall specifically under Title 5, Chapter 22 of the penal code, entitled Assaultive Offenses.
Some of the crimes under this title and chapter include:
- Assault (against somebody defined as a family member)
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated assault (against a family member)
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled individual (defined as a family member)
- Abandoning or endangering a child
The above-listed family-related offenses under each referenced title and chapter of the Texas penal code vary in their degree of seriousness, as defined by the law. These subchapters of the penal code include offenses that include (in order of seriousness):
- Class C misdemeanor
- Class B misdemeanor
- Class A misdemeanor
- State jail felony
- Third-degree felony
- Second-degree felony
- First-degree felony
Maximum potential punishments for these crimes include:
- Class C misdemeanor: fine of $500
- Class B misdemeanor: fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days of incarceration
- Class A misdemeanor: fine of up to $4,000 and up to 1 year of incarceration
- State jail felony: fine of up to $10,000 and up to 2 years of incarceration
- Third-degree felony: fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years of incarceration
- Second-degree felony: fine of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years of incarceration
- First-degree felony: fine of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison
Being convicted of a crime, and especially a felony, may bring consequences beyond those levied by the courts. Having a criminal conviction on your record could bring additional hurdles to your life, including in the realms of:
- Obtaining a loan
- Finding employment
- Finding housing
- Having basic rights, such as voting and owning a firearm
- Family court
It is important that you are cognizant of what could be on the line for you in the case that you are convicted. Speak with our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for more information about defending yourself from family violence-related charges.
Reasons to Call a Law Firm
If you are facing a criminal charge, then you may choose to call a law firm to assist with, or lead, your defense. A McKinney family and domestic violence lawyer may offer to handle your legal needs from A to Z, defending you against the allegations that you face.
More specifically, a lawyer may:
- Determine the facts of your case by listening to your account, reviewing police records of any testimony against (and for) you, and observing available evidence pertaining to the allegations against you.
- Conduct an independent investigation into your case, seeking especially any facts or evidence that indicate you are not guilty of the crime(s) of which you have been accused.
- Speak with experts in the field of family law in Texas, as well as any other fields that are pertinent to the allegations against you. They may provide testimony, analysis, or both, which is beneficial to your defense.
- Handle correspondence with prosecutors, judges, and any other parties that could play a role in having your charges reduced or dismissed.
- Seek any plea agreements that are available to you. You may ultimately decide whether such offers are acceptable.
- If necessary, argue your case in a trial setting.
- Defend your rights throughout the entirety of your legal case.
- Bring forth any appeals that prove necessary.
All criminal charges are to be taken seriously, and a charge involving family violence may carry especially serious consequences if you are convicted. A McKinney family and domestic violence lawyer will aim to have your charges dismissed or dropped, and if a trial is necessary, will argue for your innocence.
Call Our Team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
Lead attorney Randall B. Isenberg has over 30 years of experience working as a former prosecutor, state district judge, and now as an attorney. Call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.