Types of Family Violence
Acts commonly referred to as domestic violence are considered “family violence” under state law in Texas. People convicted of crimes relating to family violence can suffer a variety of immediate and long-term consequences, including possible loss of the right to possess a firearm under Texas Health and Safety Code § 46.04 if the offense is a Class A misdemeanor or felony.
Texas Family Code § 71.003 defines a family as:
- individuals related by consanguinity (one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor);
- individuals related by affinity (they are married to each other or the spouse of one is related by consanguinity to the other);
- individuals who are former spouses of each other;
- individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage; and
- a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.
A household is defined under Texas Family Code § 71.005 as a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.
The phrase family violence is defined under Texas Family Code § 71.004 as meaning:
- an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;
- abuse, as that term is defined by Texas Family Code §§ 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), (K), and (M), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or
- dating violence, as that term is defined by Texas Family Code § 71.0021.
Dating violence was included in the definition following the passage of Senate Bill 68 by the 77th Legislature in 2001. Dating violence involves an act intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or a threat that reasonably places an alleged victim in fear of imminent physical harm when the two parties have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
Lawyer in Georgetown, TX Discusses Types of Family Violence
If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for an alleged act of family violence in Central Texas, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. [
Price & Twine, PLLC aggressively defends clients accused of domestic violence in communities throughout Williamson County and Bell County, such as Cedar Park, Georgetown, Harker Heights, Hutto, Belton, and many others.
Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case, including possibly having the criminal charged reduced or dismissed. You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Texas Family Violence Information Center
- Which crimes are considered family violence offenses?
- What is considered abuse under the Texas Family Code?
- Where can I learn more about family violence in Georgetown?
According Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data, there were 196,564 Texas family violence incidents in 2016 involving 214,815 victims and 208,764 offenders. Offense information—collected according to federal UCR guidelines—falls into five general categories: assaults, homicides, kidnapping/abductions, robberies, and sex offenses.
Assaults involving family or household members are commonly referred to as domestic assault, and satisfy the definition of family violence established under Texas Family Code § 71.004(1). Assaults accounted for 97 percent of all offenses and include:
- Aggravated Assault
- Simple Assault
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, assault is a Class C misdemeanor if an alleged victim is knowingly threatened with imminent bodily injury, a Class B Misdemeanor if the alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with the alleged victim when the contact is offensive or provocative (Class A misdemeanor if the other person is an elderly or disabled individual), and a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person.
Assault becomes a third degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a violent offense against a family or household member, or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the other person by applying pressure to the other person’s throat or neck or by blocking the other person’s nose or mouth. A case involving both of these elements is charged as a second-degree felony.
Assault is also a second-degree felony if the victim suffers serious bodily injury as a result or the alleged offender uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. A case involving both of these elements is charged as a first-degree felony.
Sex offenses such as rape, sodomy, sexual assault w/object, fondling, incest, and statutory rape accounted for 2.48 percent of family violence offenses in 2016, while kidnapping, robbery, and homicide each accounted for less than 1 percent of these offenses (0.28, 0.21, and 0.08 percent, respectively). TxDPS reported that a majority of reported injuries (52.9%) were considered to minor injuries while no injury was recorded in 42.8 percent of family violence incidents.
Texas Family Code §§ 261.001 states that term “abuse” includes the following acts or omissions by a person (boldfaced entries are offenses which constitute acts of family violence under Texas Family Code § 71.004(1) when committed by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household):
- mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
- causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
- physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;
- failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child;
- sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, indecency with a child, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault;
- failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child;
- compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct, including compelling or encouraging the child in a manner that constitutes an offense of trafficking of persons, prostitution, or compelling prostitution;
- causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene or pornographic;
- the current use by a person of a controlled substance in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child;
- causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance;
- causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child;
- knowingly causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a child to be trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense under Texas Penal Code § 20A.02(a)(5), (6), (7), or (8), or the failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent a child from being trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense under any of those sections; or
- forcing or coercing a child to enter into a marriage.
Criminal Investigations | City of Georgetown Texas — Visit this section of the Georgetown Police Department website to learn more about how the agency handles criminal investigations. The Crimes Against Persons Unit investigates crimes related to family violence. You can also find crime prevention and safety tips.Georgetown Police Department
3500 DB Wood Rd.
Georgetown, Texas 78628
Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) — TCFV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks “to end family violence through partnerships, advocacy and direct services for women, children and men.” Use this website to find facts and statistics, access publications, and learn about community engagement efforts. The website also has information about upcoming events and answers to frequently asked questions about trainings and conferences.
Find a Family Violence Defense Attorney in Georgetown, TX
Do you believe that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested in Central Texas for a family violence-related crime? Do not make any statement to authorities without first contacting Price & Twine, PLLC.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who represents individuals in Taylor, Round Rock, Leander, Killeen, Temple, and several other nearby areas in Williamson County and Bell County.
Call (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.