Domestic assault charges normally result in a misdemeanor charge. However, if you have a history of committing domestic assault your crime could be enhanced drastically. The crime could be elevated to continuous violence against the family, which is a felony-level crime.
The penalties for continuous violence against the family are especially harsh. If convicted, you could face expensive fines and time spent in prison. In addition, you will have a felony conviction on your record. Employers, licensing agencies, landlords and your peers could pull up your criminal charges with a simple background check. It could lead to lost job, housing and other important opportunities.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for continuous violence against the family, it’s important you seek skilled and experienced legal representation.
Attorney for Continuous Violence Against the Family in Georgetown, TX
Family dynamics are incredibly complicated and normally there is a deep history between familial and household members. It can be hard to understand what’s going on from an outsider’s perspective and can even look abusive if certain circumstances arise. That is why domestic violence charges can be incredibly difficult to defend.
For these reasons and more, we suggest you hire experienced legal counsel such as Price & Twine, PLLC. Michael J. Price has years of practice under his belt representing clients from domestic violence charges. He can utilize all his extensive resources, skills and network to build a sturdy defense for you. To get in contact with him, call Price & Twine, PLLC. He can set up your first consultation free for your case.
Price & Twine, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Williamson County and Bell County area such as Jarrell, Georgetown, Hutto, Killeen, Belton, and Temple.
Overview of Continuous Violence Against the Family in Texas
- What Does Texas Define as Continuous Violence Against the Family
- Domestic Assault & Penalties in Texas
- Additional Resources
What Does Texas Define as Continuous Violence Against the Family?
Legislators in Texas implemented harsh penalties for people charged with continuous violence against the family to deter family abusers. The Penal Code states if you have engaged in domestic assault conduct two or three times a year, then you could be charged with continuous violence against the family as a result.
What makes this charge unique is that the jury doesn’t have to unanimously agree on the specifics of the assault or the date of the assault to convict a person of continuous violence. Instead they’re only required to determine if you committed domestic assault at least twice within the last 12 months. This fact means it’s incredibly difficult to defend a continuous violence charge.
Additionally, the assault doesn’t have to be directed towards one family member to be charged with continuous violence against the family. Committing domestic assault on different members of the family or household can still lead to continuous violence against the family.
The crime is charged as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to 10 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
Domestic Assault and it’s Penalties in Texas
To be charged with continuous violence, you must have a criminal history of committing domestic assault. The elements of domestic assault can be found under the Penal Code Section 22.01. The law states you don’t have to physically harm another person to be charged with domestic assault. In fact, you can be charged with the offense because of a threat you made in the heat of the moment that was taken too seriously.
You can be charged with domestic assault for doing any of the following actions:
- Intentionally inflicting bodily harm to a household or family member;
- Threatening a household or family member with imminent serious bodily injury; or
- Making physical contact with a family or household member that you’re aware could be considered as provocative or offensive
You can only be charged with domestic assault if the crime was directed towards a family or household member. Under Texas law, the term “family member” means any person related by blood or marriage. It can also include shared parents of a child, ex-spouses, foster parents and foster children.
The term “household member” refers to any person you share a household with. You’re not required to be related to blood or marriage, but you must have shared the same dwelling for a certain period. The court considers people who have moved out since the offense still members of the household in the eyes of the law.
Domestic assault also applies to dating relationships. If two people are involved in a dating relationship that is continuous for a period, then assaultive offenses between the two could be considered domestic assault.
Domestic assault is a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine. Causing bodily injury to the victim will lead to an enhanced charge of class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include a fine of up to $4,000 and up to 12 months in prison.
Benchbook for Family Violence – Visit the official website of Texas Courts to gain access to the Texas Family Violence Benchbook, a reference for judges and other legal professionals. Access the document to learn more about protective orders, domestic violence offenses and child custody or support divisions.
Family Violence Report by DPS – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to read their report on family violence. Access the document to learn more about domestic violence statistics and data in Texas collected by the Department of Public Safety.
Lawyer for Continuous Family Violence in Williamson County, Texas
Contact Price & Twine, PLLC to start your defense plan today. Michael J. Price is an aggressive attorney in the courtroom, but compassionate with clients. With his years of experience, he knows the best course of actions for these types of cases. He can apply our skills and knowledge to create a sturdy defense specially for your case.
You can call us at (512) 354-1880 to set up a case consultation. Price & Twine, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Georgetown area including Killeen, Belton, Harker Heights, Temple, Hutto and Taylor.