The punishment for assault on a family member in Dallas, Texas, depends greatly on the circumstances of the case and the injuries suffered by the victim. The sentences issued in these cases could include anything from fines to attending counseling to community supervision to long-term incarceration.
These charges generally range from Class C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies and all severity of charges between the two. If you or a loved one was arrested based on allegations of domestic or family violence, you should speak to a Dallas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You could face significant, life-altering penalties if convicted.
Penalties Associated With Domestic Violence Convictions in Texas
Several different crimes can fall under the Texas domestic violence laws. For this reason, the punishment stemming from a conviction can vary greatly. When two or more people who have a certain family or household relationship are involved in a disagreement, and there are allegations of threats or bodily harm, someone may face charges.
Texas Family Code § 71.004 describes the types of crimes that could be considered family violence as:
- Violent acts intended to cause bodily harm
- Threats that cause the victim to fear imminent bodily harm
- Familial child abuse
- Dating violence
Some specific criminal charges that fall under the category of “assault on a family member” could include:
- Domestic Violence Assault: A common charge for cases that involve threats or minor injuries, this is generally a misdemeanor. This could be a Class C or up to a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case. The penalties could include up to a year in a county jail and several thousand dollars in fines.
- Domestic Assault by Choking: This offense occurs when one party intentionally blocks the breathing of the other. This can occur in several ways, not only through choking. This is generally a third-degree felony. If convicted, the accused party could face 2 to 10 years in prison and significant fines.
- Continuous Domestic Violence: This charge addressed chronic allegations of domestic abuse. This is generally defined as committing two domestic violence crimes in a single 12-month period. It is a third-degree felony. Sentencing could include up to a decade behind bars and a $10,000 fine.
- Aggravated Domestic Assault: This crime occurs when the victim suffers serious injuries and/or there is a weapon involved. It can stem from a threat that uses a weapon, as well. This is usually a first-degree felony charge, and a conviction will come with significant time behind bars and large fines. When the victim has serious injuries, punishments could include life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
How Does Texas Define “Family” and “Domestic” for These Cases
When an assault occurs against a family member or someone else with a “domestic” relationship, it can increase the severity of the charges or the sentence after a conviction. The relationship between the parties elevates the situation, serving as an aggravating factor.
In general, the following relationships allow the courts to consider an assault “domestic” in nature:
- Related to the other party by blood
- Related to the other party by adoption
- In-laws with the other party (related by marriage)
- Currently married or dating
- Former spouses or romantic partners
- Roommates or share a household
- Parents of a child or otherwise connected through a child
Take Action Quickly After a Dallas Family Violence Arrest
If you or a loved one faces allegations of domestic assault, you should know how a criminal defense attorney who handles these cases regularly can help. You may be able to:
- Build a strong defense based on your side of the story
- Explain the possible outcomes of your case
- Answer your questions and discuss your concerns
- Represent you in court and questioning
- Gather evidence to support your defense
- Identify defense strategies based on the circumstances
- Help you reach an agreement for a reduced charge or reduced sentence
- Fight for an acquittal, if necessary
- Protect your rights and fight for a more positive outcome for you
Working with a legal team as soon as possible gives you the best chance of getting the best possible outcome in your case—never facing charges at all. In some cases, it is possible for our attorney to prove the client did not and could not have committed the crime before the prosecutors ever file charges.
Depending on what types of charges you face there will be a statute of limitations – time limits you have to file your case. Contact our lawyers today to get the help you need before time runs out to take legal action.
Connect With Our Team About Your Dallas Domestic Violence Case Today
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for a free consultation. We can assess your case and discuss your legal options for fighting these allegations with you. We can also answer your questions about the punishments you could face if convicted. Our domestic violence criminal defense attorney may be able to go to work on your case today.