Domestic Violence in Williamson and Bell County
Family violence or domestic violence accusations in Texas can arise from a number of situations. Sometimes an alleged victim will falsely claim another person has committed family violence against them. They may make these false allegations out of spite or jealousy, to gain favor in divorce proceedings to achieve custody of a child or children.
Domestic violence accusations can result in severe penalties in Texas, such as jail or prison time, an inability to possess or own a firearm, a possibly permanent criminal record, steep fines and/or public ridicule.
If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine defenses or mitigating factors are available in your particular situation. Possible defense to family violence charges can include lack of intent, self defense, defense of others or false accusations.
Georgetown Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you have been charged with any domestic or family violence offense in Georgetown, or any of the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Benton or Harker Heights, contact the Law Office of Michael J. Price, P.C. Attorney Michael Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to the allegations against you. Call the Law Office of Michael J. Price for a free consultation at (512) 930-3074 about your alleged family violence.
Georgetown Family Violence Information Center
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Texas Domestic Violence Terms and Definitions
Family violence and related terms often used in domestic violence proceedings are defined in Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code. Some of the most commonly used family violence terms are listed below.
- Family Violence – This term, more commonly known as domestic violence, is an act that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault by one family or household member against another. Family violence also includes abuse and dating violence.
- Dating Violence – Dating violence is any act that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault against an individual by a person with whom they are in a dating relationship or were previously in a dating relationship.
- Family Member – Individuals who are related by blood or marriage, former spouses, parents of the same child, foster parents and step parents are considered family members.
- Household Member – Individuals who reside or previously resided in the same housing unit are household members, even if they are not related to each other.
- Protective Order – This is a court order issued at the end of a protective order hearing if the court determines family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again. This order is also known as a restraining order, protection against family violence or protection order.
- Protective Order Hearing – This type of hearing is held after an individual in a family or dating relationship files an application for protective order. At the hearing, the court will make a decision whether a family violence has occurred and whether it will probably occur in the future.
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Family Violence Offenses in Texas
Some of the most common charged family violence offense in Georgetown can include, but are not limited to the following:
Domestic Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.01 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury, threaten or cause physical contact to another person, including their spouse. This offense is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.
Sexual Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.011 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally or knowingly penetrate the sexual organs or mouth of another person without their consent. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the first or second degree.
Aggravated Domestic Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit assault against another person with a deadly weapon or cause serious bodily injury to the other person. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second or first degree.
Stalking / Cyberstalking – Tex. Penal Code § 42.072 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they repeatedly and knowingly engage in conduct specifically directed at another person they will perceive as threatening, causes that person to be afraid of bodily injury or death, and would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death to themselves or their family members.
An example of stalking includes following another person. Also, cyberstalking can occur when an individual communicates with another through e-mail or another electronic means of communication for sole purpose of harassing the other person. Stalking and cyberstalking are generally punishable as a felony of the second or third degree.
Violation of Protective Order – Tex. Penal Code § 25.07 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly or intentionally violate any terms of a protective order against them, such as communicating with the other person or goes to the other person’s residence or place of business. This offense is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor or a third degree felony.
Abandoning or Endangering a Child - Tex. Penal Code § 22.041
Child Abuse – Tex. Penal Code § 22.04 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they
intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence cause serious bodily injury, bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment or injury to a child or an elderly adult. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third, second or first degree.
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Domestic Violence Penalties in Georgetown
According to Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, the penalties for many family violence offenses in Texas are defined below. The penalty for a conviction for these offenses can increase depending on whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense and depending on the age of the victim.
- A class C misdemeanor offense can result in a fine not more than $500.
- A class B misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000
- A class A misdemeanor offense can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not more than $4,000.
- A state jail felony offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
- A felony of the third degree offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A felony of the second degree offense is punishable by imprisonment from two to 20 years and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
- A felony of the first degree offense is punishable by imprisonment from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
According to Tex. Penal Code § 25.11, an individual who commits continuous violence against the family can be charged with a felony of the third degree. Continuous violence against the family is defined as engaging in family violence two or more times within a period of 12 months or less.
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Georgetown Domestic Violence Resources
Texas Penal Code – Assaultive Offenses – This link is to Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, which contains many of the state’s laws regarding assault and sexual assault. This chapter defines all prohibited domestic assault, sexual assault offenses and other family violence-related crimes and the penalties for committing such offenses.
Texas Penal Code – Offenses Against the Family – Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code contains many prohibited family offenses and penalties for convictions of such crimes, including violations of protective orders and continues violence against the family.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – This state department’s website provides information on child protective services (CPS), adoption and foster care and generally family laws in the state. This link provides methods to report child or family abuse and miscellaneous resources on family and protective services in Texas.
An Abuse, Rape, Family violence Aid and Resource Collection – AARDVARC is a national organization that provides information and various resources on family violence throughout Texas.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – This nonprofit organization provides crisis intervention, information and referrals to victims of domestic violence, individuals accused of domestic violence, friends and families. The Hotline provides support through advocacy, safety planning and resources for anyone affected by domestic violence.
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Law Office of Michael J. Price, P.C. | Round Rock Family Violence Attorney
Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Price today for a consultation about your alleged family violence throughout Williamson County in Texas. Michael Price is a knowledgeable criminal lawyer in Georgetown who will make every effort to defend the charges against you and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your particular situation. Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Price at (512) 930-3074 for a consultation about your domestic violence charges throughout Williamson County and Bell County in Texas.