Under Texas law, acts or threats of violence toward a family or household member is a domestic violence offense. Domestic violence convictions can have harsh consequences, including protective order restrictions and prohibitions on possessing firearms.
Enlisting the assistance of an Allen domestic violence lawyer may play a crucial role in minimizing the impact of these charges on your life. A seasoned criminal attorney could ease some of your concerns and help build a credible defense.
Crimes of Domestic Violence
Three different criminal offenses qualify as domestic violence when they involve family or household members. These offenses include
- Domestic assault
- Aggravated domestic assault
- Continuous violence against the family
Under Texas Penal Code § 71.003, family and household members include relatives, current and former spouses, persons who share a child, and individuals who live together or formerly lived together. As the potential penalties for a conviction may be harsh, consulting a domestic violence lawyer in Allen may be highly beneficial.
Simple and Aggravated Domestic Assault
According to Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01, assault occurs when individuals:
- Purposely or recklessly cause bodily harm
- Make intentional threats of inflicting bodily injury, or
- Deliberately touch another in an offensive manner
When the action involves a family or household member, the offense becomes domestic assault. This can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending upon the prior criminal history of the accused individuals.
Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02 defines aggravated assault as the commission of an assault with a deadly weapon or an assault that results in serious bodily injuries, such as permanent impairment or disfigurement. Aggravated assault is a felony charge that carries the potential for more severe penalties than simple assault. Therefore, it may be essential for individuals facing aggravated assault charges to contact an Allen domestic violence attorney for help building a defense.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 25.11, individuals with multiple domestic assault or aggravated assault charges can face charges of continuous violence against the family. These charges apply when persons commit domestic assault against a family or household member on at least two separate occasions within 12 months. This offense is a third-degree felony under Texas law, even if the incidents involve two different family or household members.
Any allegations of domestic violence, if they occur on more than one occasion, are likely to also trigger the implementation of a protective order. This civil court order can:
- Prohibit contact between family and household members
- Affect child custody and visitation arrangements
- Displace individuals from their family homes
- Ban the possession of firearms
- Require financial support of family members
Protective orders typically remain in place for two years. Violation of any of the terms in a protective order is a crime that may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the situation. A conviction for violating a protective order can result in harsh penalties, as well.
Consult with an Allen Domestic Violence Attorney
If you face domestic violence charges, it is important to keep in mind that you are not automatically guilty as charged. You have the chance to defend yourself against these charges and potentially avoid the harsh penalties that may accompany a conviction.
An Allen domestic violence lawyer may be able to help you achieve this goal. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and begin working towards a favorable resolution of your charges.