The Texas penal code defines domestic violence (as it is called in many states) as family violence, in many cases. Family violence is defined in part by the Texas Family Code §71.004. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) outlines the forms of violence that qualify as family violence in Texas. They include:
- Any act by one member of a “family” or “household” against another that produces a reasonable fear of sexual or physical assault
- Child abuse of a family or household member as defined in Chapter 261.001(1)(C), (E), and (G) of the Texas penal code
- Violence between parties who are currently or have dated in the past, with these acts referred to collectively as “dating violence”
These are the primary acts for which you could be charged with a family violence-related crime.
Further Exploring Family Violence in Texas
Domestic violence and family violence statutes vary from state to state, so it is important to define family violence laws and practices in Texas. The Department of Texas Health and Human Services reports that there are a few different acts that fall under the judicial umbrella of “family violence,” including:
- Physical abuse, which typically involves inflicting tangible physical harm on a member of a household or family
- Emotional abuse, which may include fear tactics, direct threats, intentional humiliation, and other forms of verbal mistreatment
- Financial abuse or exploitation, which can include stealing from somebody or otherwise forcing them to forfeit their assets to you
- Sexual abuse, which may include rape, molestation, and other unwanted sexual advances
- Violence between those who are dating, possibly including teenagers
Virtually anybody in a household can be the victim or perpetrator of family violence, though some may be more likely than others to be a victim or perpetrator. Those who may be impacted by family violence include:
- A spouse
- A mother or father
- A child, even if they are only a witness to family violence
- A sibling
- Any romantic partner
- A grandparent
Statistically, spouses are the most likely to be involved in family violence (according to a crime report published by the Texas Department of Public Safety), but anybody can be a victim. If you are being accused of family violence, you should also be aware of legal punishments and other consequences you could face if convicted.
Possible Legal Outcomes from a Family Violence Conviction
The consequences that you face for a family violence conviction will depend on the specifics of your alleged family violence incidents. Possible criminal degrees of a family violence charge are various and could lead to fines or jail time.
While legal consequences are quite serious, they may pale in comparison to secondary outcomes from a family violence conviction. Such outcomes could include:
- Difficulty getting housing because of your criminal record
- Difficulty finding employment, especially employment that you find desirable
- Difficulty obtaining a loan
- Loss of your right to vote
- Loss of your right to own a firearm
- Harm to your personal relationships
- Damage to your reputation
- Diminished self-esteem due to these collective consequences
If you are facing one or more criminal charges related to family violence, it is important that you consider how a lawyer may be able to assist you.
The Value of a Lawyer for Your Domestic Violence Defense
There may be several reasons you might want to hire a lawyer as you face a family violence-related charge, including that:
- You are unfamiliar with practicing law and are untrained in the legal profession
- You are not familiar with the possible strategies of prosecutors and others who would seek your conviction
- You want to rely on every resource for your defense, starting with a lawyer
- You do not want to take on the additional stress of attempting to defend yourself against a serious criminal allegation
The Texas penal code defines domestic violence, and if you are facing domestic violence charges, there are many valid reasons to call a lawyer today. A lawyer may:
- Be familiar with common strategies deployed by prosecutors seeking a family violence conviction
- Be able to negotiate a plea deal that you find acceptable
- Collect evidence that could help prove your innocence
- Handle all of the legal aspects of your case, from filing all necessary paperwork to arguing your case in front of a jury, if necessary
- Serve as the buffer between your rights and those who attempt to violate them
Consider what is on the line if you are convicted of a family violence charge, then decide whether you would like the assistance of a lawyer in forming your defense.
Call Our Team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
Randall B. Isenberg has 30-plus years as a former prosecutor and state district judge under his belt, and our team will rely on his knowledge to fight your case.
Call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.