Domestic violence in Texas falls into one of three categories: domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, and continuous family violence.
According to Tex. Penal Code Ann. §22.01, domestic assault is (1) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, (2) intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury, or (3) intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the offender knows or reasonably should know the victim will find provocative or offensive.
Consequences for a family violence charge in Texas range anywhere from a Class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000 to a 1st degree felony with 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If there is no prior convictions, a basic domestic assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor. However, it are automatically elevated to a felony in family violence cases if strangulation is involved.
For a first domestic violence strangulation charge, it would immediately be a 3rd degree felony, with consequences including a sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison. However, if there is a history of family violence, it can be a 2nd degree felony with 2 to 20 years in prison.
Strangulation means impairment of the breath and/or blood flow of the individual. When making an arrest for domestic violence, police will look for things like red spots on the neck or face, marks or abrasions under the chin, and difficulty for the victim with speaking, swallowing, or a raspy voice. Many times, strangulation is not easy to prove because of the nature of the injury, or rarely, because of false allegations.
Domestic violence is a very serious offense in Texas. If you have been charged with domestic violence or assault family violence by strangulation, call the Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C., so that we can review your case.
This article was written and researched by Brooke Price.