Texas does not take domestic violence charges lightly. The consequences of being convicted of a domestic violence assault are severe and can follow you for the rest of your life. It’s essential to understand what is considered domestic violence, and the potential penalties someone convicted of domestic violence will likely face.
Domestic Violence, Defined
Domestic violence is defined as an intentional and reckless assault against a family member or a household member. This includes someone you currently or previously dated or someone you live with, including a nanny or roommate.
Texas Laws on Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined in a few different ways in Texas. Violence against a spouse, former spouse, child, or child of a former spouse falls under domestic assault as does an attack against anyone who permanently or temporary receives in your household.
Also, under the umbrella under domestic violence is assaults against a foster child, foster parent, blood relative, adoptive child, or another family member either by blood or marriage. In some situations, kidnapping, confinement, or criminal threats can also be considered domestic violence if they occur in the home. Violent behavior such as hitting, punching, kicking, spousal rape, or attacking a child can be regarded as domestic assault as well.
How does Texas handle domestic violence crimes?
Texas has harsh penalties for domestic violence convictions. If you’re being accused of domestic assault, it is not something to take lightly. Beyond hefty fines and jail time, a domestic violence conviction can have a series impact on your family, relationship, and personal life. You may also lose the right to own a gun, and may face difficulty finding employment.
Here is a breakdown of the penalties for domestic violence in Texas.
- A Class A misdemeanor can lead to up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
- A 3rd-degree felony charge for domestic violence can result in 2 – 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- A 2nd-degree felony charge for domestic violence can result in 2 – 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and
- A 1st-degree felony charge for domestic violence can result in a sentence of 5 – 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
In Texas, even if the accuser drops the charges against you, it is still up to the district attorney to decide whether or not conflict with you. You may still have to go to trial and proceed with the case if the DA pursues the case against you.
As we mentioned, a domestic violence conviction can be an extreme disruption to your day to day life and can affect your job, family life, and personal relationships. If you have custody of children, a conviction could jeopardize your access to your children.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Texas, it’s crucial to hire a qualified attorney to defend you. Advice on the internet is not enough when you could potentially be facing felony charges that will affect the rest of your life.
Christopher T. Gore is a qualified criminal defense attorney who can help you move forward and find the best course of action for your defense. Call today for help with your specific case.