Author avatar


Domestic assault is any type of physical abuse or violence that occurs between people in an intimate relationship, family members, or household members. The State of Texas does not have a separate law for domestic assault. Instead, the general statute for ‘assault’ is applied to domestic disputes.  The collateral consequences are more far-reaching if the Court finds that the assault occurred against anyone listed sections 71.003 and 71.004 of the Texas Family Code.

Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code defines family violence as any of the following:

  • 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, by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or
  • Dating violence.

According to Texas Family Code § 71.003, many relationships (even those that are not blood or legally recognized) fall under the umbrella of family and household members:

  • Current or former spouses;
  • Foster child and parent;
  • Current or former co-residents;
  • Parents of the same child;
  • Relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption; or
  • Current or former dating or romantic partners.

Under Texas Penal Code §§ 22.01 and 22.02, assault carries grievous penalties including steep fines and years of imprisonment: The seriousness of these charges depends upon the specific facts of the case.

  • Class C Misdemeanor Assault occurs if an alleged victim is knowingly threatened with imminent bodily injury. Penalties include a fine of up to $500.
  • Class A misdemeanor Assault occurs if a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. Penalties include up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
  • Third Degree Felony Assault occurs if impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim (“strangulation assault”). Additionally, assault becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a violent offense against a family or household member. Penalties include 2 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Second Degree Felony Assault occurs if there is a case involving both of the previous elements – a prior conviction and alleged strangulation. Penalties include up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • First Degree Felony Assault occurs If the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the domestic assault and causes serious bodily injury to their spouse. Penalties include up to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

If you have been arrested for family violence assault, it is important to speak with a qualified defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys Michael Price and James Twine at Price & Twine, PLLC have represented numerous people charged with domestic violence. With their skills and techniques, they can defend your rights in court.

Don’t wait another moment to protect your freedom and contact Price & Twine, PLLC as soon as possible at (512) 354-1880. Williamson County criminal defense lawyers Michael Price and James Twine serve clients throughout Texas including Austin, Cedar Park, Jarrell, Georgetown, Leander, Hutto, Liberty Hill, Round Rock, Taylor, and Granger.

Posted in Domestic Violence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *