Under Texas Law
Growing a family and a successful marriage can be a challenge in today’s world. Misunderstandings and arguments here and there are common in every family. Despite this, staying in a family where you no longer feel secure can result in a serious disaster. When family members, spouses, or roommates no longer get along, it is always advisable for people to go their separate ways before things get serious.
The Texas government does not tolerate domestic violence and subjects the defendant to severe punishments. Any physical altercation between people of the same household is considered a violent act.
Many people assume that domestic violence only amounts to physical violence alone. This assumption leads to several victims suffering other types of domestic abuse without doing anything about it. In Texas, domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It entails more than what is seen on the outside.
Any violent act with the intention to gain power over a spouse, girlfriend, or any other family member is categorized as domestic violence. The abuse is a behavior not caused by drug, anger, or mental problems. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, social, and sexual. Any act of violence considered domestic doesn’t have to occur within a home. As long as the victim and the accused are in a relationship, any act of violence is deemed to be domestic.
What is considered to be Domestic Violence?
This is a threat or an act of violence to which the defendant shares an intimate relationship. This can be a spouse or former spouse, current or former dating partner, parent of the defendant children, child of the current or former spouse, blood or adopted relatives, foster child or foster parent, or roommate. Any intentional, reckless, or knowing threat or bodily injury on any person mentioned above is a domestic assault.
When an assault causes serious bodily injury to the victim, this is categorized as aggravated domestic assault. This happened when the defendant was carrying a deadly weapon during the act. Examples of deadly weapons are knives, firearms, brass knuckles, baseball bats, etc. The injuries can be broken bones, lost limbs, heart injury, or disfigurement.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
If violence or threat occurs more than once in two months, the defendant will be charged with continuous violence against the family. This also applies when the defendant has a criminal record of the same crimes against the same family member or multiple victims.
To prove a domestic violence case, the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the act was carried out intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. If the victim had bodily injuries, the prosecutor must have enough proof to show that the defendant’s actions caused such amount of physical bodily harm.
Provocative or Offensive Act
This is an action that doesn’t result in bodily injury or any physical pain. The action, however, makes the victim feel disrespected or insecure. For instance; touching a dating partner in a sexually provocative manner is considered a domestic assault. Recklessness, intentionally or knowingly can be considered as domestic assault.
Sentences for Domestic Violence in Texas
If you’re found guilty of domestic violence in Texas, the following legal actions will be taken against you;
- “Class C” misdemeanor charge; this goes for up to a year in jail
- First-degree felony; this is a charge given for those found guilty of severe domestic violence cases. The charges go between 5 to 99 years in prison with up to $10,000 charges.
- An affirmative finding of family violence; you may not be convicted with domestic violence, but this charge exposes you to several collateral consequences such as not being able to rent an apartment or not being allowed to work with children.
- “Class A” misdemeanor; this charge is given to the offender for knowingly or willingly causing the injuries, property destruction, or emotional harm to the victim.
- Second-degree felony; this involves a period of two to 20-year imprisonment an a $10,000 fine
- Third-degree felony; this goes for a period of two to 10-year sentence plus a fine of 10,000 maximum.
Legal Representation For Domestic Violence in Texas
Whether you’re a victim or a defendant, you need to get the help of an attorney to help you go through the court process. It is always risky to defend yourself, especially for the defendant. An attorney is your best bet if you want to build your case and have the best possible outcome. At Xavier Law Firm, we decisively stand up for victims of domestic violence.
You should also consider that it is common for an innocent person to be charged or domestic violence or for a criminal to get away with the charges. Either way, you need the best legal representation to look at the situation from different angles and defend your rights in the best possible way.
If you or someone you know needs help with any legal procedures or if you are a victim of the Criminal Justice System, we can help you.
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