While Texas does not have a specific domestic violence statute, allegations of domestic abuse or assault are taken very seriously.
A person can be charged with assault, aggravated assault, family violence, or dating violence depending on the nature of the offense. If you are facing allegations of domestic violence or other assault charges, you need legal representation.
At Maverick Ray & Associates, we represent individuals who have been charged with family violence and other assault offenses. We know how devastating even accusations of domestic violence can be, which is why we fight to protect our clients’ rights and their reputations.
If you have been accused of assault by a spouse, former spouse, or another close relative, contact our Houston domestic violence lawyers at (281) 346-9451 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
In Texas, a person who is accused of domestic abuse may face charges under Chapter 22 – Assaultive Offenses of the Penal Code or violation of Sec. 71.0021 or 71.003 of the Family Code.
In domestic violence (DV) situations, a person may be accused of:
Unfortunately, in some situations, a person may make false accusations of domestic abuse. This is most often seen in instances where there is a child custody dispute or other contentious family law matter. If you have been falsely accused of assault, you need to consult with an experienced Houston domestic violence lawyer immediately.
Under Texas law, a person commits an assault if they “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” cause bodily injury, threaten imminent bodily injury, or cause physical contact that they know the other person will consider offensive or provocative.
Assault under Sec. 22.01 can be committed against any member of the family or household including the alleged perpetrator’s spouse. In most cases, an assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000. However, under certain circumstances, the relationship between the offender and the victim may increase the charges to a felony of the third degree.
Where the victim in a domestic abuse case is in a close relationship or association with the defendant, there may be additional charges and penalties.
The Texas Family Code identifies the following “close” relationships:
Sec. 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code states that when an assault is committed against one of these people, and it can be shown that the defendant was previously convicted of an assaultive offense, criminal homicide, kidnapping, indecency with a child, or continuous violence against the family they may be charged with a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Being charged with domestic violence or domestic assault does not mean that you will ultimately be convicted of the offense. It is important to note, however, that family violence cases are strictly prosecuted in the state. The best way to protect your rights and fight for your freedom is to secure legal representation immediately after accusations are made against you.
There are several defenses to domestic violence allegations, including:
A common misconception in domestic assault cases is that the prosecution cannot go forward if a person decides that they no longer want to press charges. Once the police respond to a call of domestic assault, they will generally air on the side of caution and file a report. The prosecutor can then press charges even if the victim later decides not to go forward.
Allegations of domestic assault or family violence can not only end in criminal charges and a conviction, but it can cost you your job, your professional license, and your custody or visitation rights. A knowledgeable Houston domestic violence lawyer can help fight the charges against you, protect your reputation, and work to keep you out of jail.
Without the help of an attorney, you could be facing imprisonment, high fines, mandatory counseling, and more. You could face felony charges if you were previous convicted of assault against a family member, someone you were dating, or a member of your household. In addition, if the assault involved allegations that you “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” strangled the person or impeded their breathing, you could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
If you have been accused of domestic violence or assault, contact our office for a free consultation. At Maverick Ray & Associates, we know how serious even the suggestion of family violence can be. We can help you understand your rights and can defend against false or misleading allegations.
Call our office at (281) 346-9451 to speak directly with a Houston domestic violence lawyer. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get a real trial lawyer on your side. Contact our office today to get started.