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Difficulties and misunderstandings in relationships may end in allegations of domestic violence. Further, aggressive actions between people may result in criminal charges, even if physical violence did not occur. If you find yourself facing charges of this nature, a Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer may be able to assist you.
The consequences of a criminal conviction related to domestic violence may be severe. These consequences are also not limited to high fines and lengthy prison sentences – a domestic violence conviction could result in losing the right to carry a firearm or place restrictive protective orders against you. If you find yourself facing charges of domestic violence, you may wish to consult a well-versed defense lawyer to discuss your case.
Domestic Violence and Assault in Fort Worth
Fort Worth laws do not make domestic violence a separate criminal offense. Instead, domestic violence is applied when the parties involved in an offense are family or household members. Household members could include individuals who live together, share a child, and are or were in a dating relationship. It also includes close family members.
Assault in Texas domestic violence cases is pursued in the same way as other assaults. Assault is defined by the Texas Penal Code § 22.01 as any threat of or actual injury to another person, regardless of whether the act is intentional or not. Legally, assault also includes knowingly or intentionally inflicting physical contact that would be reasonably offensive.
Though assault is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor by Fort Worth courts, it may become a second or third-degree felony if aggravating factors are present. Aggravating factors may include prior domestic assault convictions or allegedly violent acts. A class A misdemeanor conviction could result in a fine of up to $4,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. For a third-degree felony conviction, the fines will generally not exceed $10,000 and a potential prison sentence will usually range from two to ten years. That range increases to a maximum of 20 years in prison in the case of a second-degree felony.
Continuous Offenses Against the Family
The penal code of Texas further establishes the offense of continued violence against the family. Continued violence occurs when an individual commits an assault against a family or household member at least twice during a 12-month period. Engaging in this conduct could result in a third-degree felony charge.
Family violence is defined by the Texas Family Code §71.004 to include any act committed towards a family or household member that results in physical harm, such as assault or sexual assault. Fort Worth also includes threats, child abuse, and dating violence within the definition of family violence.
Seek Help From A Fort Worth Domestic Violence Attorney
The stakes can be high when you are facing allegations of domestic or family violence. You risk losing your freedom, job, family, and even some of your rights if a convicted. Facing these penalties can be frightening and many people find consulting a Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer for advice beneficial.
A dedicated defense attorney with experience defending domestic violence may be able to answer any questions about the charges against you and advise on your legal options. Getting legal advice may be an important step toward resolving your situation. Reach out to a dedicated domestic violence attorney to learn more about your options and begin building a strong defense to protect yourself.