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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
The charges for domestic violence can have a significant effect on a person’s future if they receive a conviction. The punishment for this offense can include fines, jail time, and a criminal record that affects the person’s future education and employment opportunities.
If you were charged with a domestic violence-related crime, you may need to contact a Dallas domestic violence attorney. A criminal defense attorney could help a charged individual tell their side of the story to potentially mitigate the consequences of a conviction. They could help shift the focus of any consequences to rehabilitative efforts rather than punishment.
Types of Offenses Classified as Domestic Violence
Domestic violence falls under the state laws governing assault. Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, assault is a Class A misdemeanor. Various types of offenses may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies.
Punishments for Violence
Section 22.01 classifies domestic violence as when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly commits the following acts of assault against a family member, household member, or current or past dating partner, including:
- Causing bodily injury
- Threatening imminent bodily injury
- Causing offensive physical contact
Section 71.0021 of the Dallas Family Code defines a “dating relationship” as a relationship of a continuous and romantic or intimate nature. If a dating relationship exists, a court will consider factors such as its length and nature as well as the frequency of interaction between the two parties. Casual acquaintanceships are not considered to be dating relationships.
A conviction for this type of assault is classified as a felony in the third degree and can result in a minimum sentence of two years of imprisonment and a maximum term of ten years in a state prison. The maximum fine for this crime can be $10,000.
Punishment for Prevention of Breathing or Circulation
It is a third-degree felony under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code to impede a person’s normal breathing or circulation of blood by choking them or blocking their airways. It is not required that the alleged victim be a dating partner, family member, or household member for the defendant to be charged with this felony offense.
Punishment for a Second Conviction
A second conviction for committing an assault against a family member, household member, or dating partner is a second-degree felony. This includes assault that prevents breathing or circulation. A conviction of a second offense has a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of twenty years.
If an alleged victim sought a restraining order and the respondent violated it, they may need to defend against these actions with the help of a Dallas domestic violence lawyer. An attorney could help a respondent with a restraining order violation negotiate an outcome that is most conducive to upholding their rights during legal proceedings and in their relationships.
Contact a Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Domestic violence is a serious charge that can lead to significant consequences if a person is convicted. Dallas domestic violence attorneys can help those who were charged build a strong defense that focuses on the facts. If you had a restraining order filed against you or were charged with a form of assault related to domestic violence, an attorney could help. Talk to a Dallas domestic violence attorney today to learn more.