Domestic violence is an act of assault against a family or household member. If a loved one has accused you of violence, you may worry about the possible consequences. Unfortunately, there are immediately penalties and others which could have lasting effects on your future. The court may order you change homes, pay certain expenses, make custody decisions, as well as criminal sanctions.
If you are concerned about domestic violence penalties in Fort Worth, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney. Often, once a party accuses you of domestic assault, the government takes over, and neither the alleged victim nor you may be able to halt the process. You need to understand what is at risk and how you can minimize or avoid the related penalties.
Varying Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence can include a range of actions, but the most common one is assault. Assault is offensive touching, physical harm to another, or threats of immediate harm, as defined in Penal Code § 22.01. Basic assault is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential penalty of up to a year in county jail and $4,000 in fines.
Prosecutors might increase an assault charge to a third-degree felony if the defendant had previously committed an act of violence against a family member. A family member is someone who the defendant lives with, has or had a dating relationship, or has a relation. If the court finds the actor guilty, the Fort Worth domestic violence penalties are jail for up to ten years and a $10,000 fine.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
If the actor causes serious physical harm or displays a deadly weapon to a household or family member, that is aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony for a first offense and a first-degree felony for a second offense and carries potential penalties of 20 years or life in prison.
Other Domestic Violence
Other forms of violence which occur between family or household members may include:
- Unlawful restraint
- Child endangerment
Additional Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
Besides potential jail time and fines, a Fort Worth domestic violence conviction may lead to further consequences. The court may order the defendant vacate the home, pay for expenses related to the house, pay child support, surrender custody of the child, or be subject to a protective order.
After a conviction, a defendant will have a criminal record which is searchable online and will show up on background checks, meaning a defendant may also experience difficulty when applying for jobs or leases.
Fort Worth Domestic Violence Penalties May Affect Your Future
A conviction for domestic violence may affect your family relationships, your immigration status, where you live, and what job you hold. Get the help you need to fight Fort Worth domestic violence penalties today by contacting an experienced attorney.