What Are Texas Family Violence Charges?
In Texas, family violence carries hefty consequences. A first offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties including up to one year in prison or two years probation. A second offense is automatically charged as a third-degree felony, which carries two to ten years in state prison.
In addition to the immediate legal consequences, a family violence conviction can follow you for the rest of your life:
- You can be fired from your current job for an assault conviction and refused for hire by other employers.
- Landlords can refuse to rent to someone with an assault on their record/
- Texas doesn’t permit someone with an assault conviction to own a firearm for five years after their sentence is completed.
- Beyond employment and rental consequences, these type of charges may also affect your ability to see your family or return to your home.
Don’t let a domestic violence charge ruin your future. Contact Carroll Troberman today for a dependable legal representation throughout your case, from the point of arrest to your court appearances. We have the knowledge and experience to provide legal advice and strategies that will help optimize the results of your case.
Domestic Violence Penalties in Texas
Any kind of physical assault or battering of your partner is considered domestic violence, including sexual abuse. Even just an unwanted touch can mean count as assault, and it can cost you.
The state of Texas recognizes three types of crimes within domestic violence: domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, and continuous violence against the family. Each type of crime carries different penalties and criteria.
Have you committed assault against a current/past dating partner or a family member? An act of assault includes:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to another
- Threatening harm on another
- Intentionally causing physical contact with another that the offender should reasonably know that the victim would find offensive
If the offender does not have any other domestic assault convictions on his or her criminal record, domestic assault counts as a Class A misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $4,000 and/or jail time of up to one year. However, the charge will upgrade to a third-degree felony if the conviction isn’t the first on the record. A third-degree felony can leave you behind bars for 2-10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
Aggravated domestic assault (ADA) is a more serious charge than domestic assault because it encompasses a crime of continuous violence against a partner or family member. ADA includes intentionally or recklessly causing serious injury to another or using/exhibiting a deadly weapon when inflicting assault, including any threats or violence.
ADA crimes constitute second and first-degree felonies, depending on each specific case. First degree is less common and comprises of ADA crimes where a deadly weapon was used. In Texas, a weapon like this includes anything that is capable of causing death or serious physical injury and is used a way that is likely to cause such a result. Therefore, a weapon can range from a baseball bat to a motor vehicle.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
Continuous violence against the family means that two or more domestic assault charges have occurred within one year. Unfortunately, these types of domestic violence cases are pretty strict. Even if the defendant was not actually convicted or the crimes were committed against different victims, you can still be charged with continuous violence. These types of charges leave you with a third-degree felony on your record, 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Beyond prison and hefty fines, offenders often are burdened with other penalties:
- Restitution - The plaintiff may seek compensation from the offender for even simple domestic assault charges. The compensation can be the amount of medical treatment, property damages, counseling, etc.
- Deferred Adjudication - If the offender pleads guilty, the court may postpone sentencing for a brief period of time. meets the court’s requirements, such as complying with probation and successfully avoids any other arrests, the court may choose to discharge the defendant and dismiss the case. The arrest, deferral, and dismissal will all be a part of the criminal record. Deferred adjudication is normally considered for first-time offenders.
- Community Supervision - Community supervision, or probation, is another alternative to serious consequences for offenders who plead guilty. The court may mandate a brief period of jail time, though judges can choose not to. Other requirements are set to complete the prison sentence on probation, and the probation must be successfully completed. For successful completion, the offender must meet with the probation officer, pay costs, and comply with any conditions set aside for the community supervision alternative.
Experienced Representation from Carroll Troberman, PLLC
When you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need a domestic violence lawyer who will stand behind you and aggressively represent your case. Meredith “Shelly” Troberman has worked on both sides of the courtroom, representing both defendants and the Travis County Attorney’s office. She knows exactly what the prosecution needs to get a conviction and how to fight against it. The firm’s other partner, Blair Carroll, has been defending clients in Central Texas for years and knows the intricacies of defending these types of cases.
If you’ve been charged with family violence, you don’t have to resign yourself to prison or probation. Contact Carroll Troberman, PLLC today and hire a passionate legal defense team who cares about its clients and will fight for your rights. We will review and investigate your case in order to provide you with options you have to best protect your rights.
Call us at (512) 772-2442 today.
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