The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge
If you have been charged with domestic violence, your first priority may be trying to figure out what happens next. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 34.5% of Texas women and 35.1% of Texas men experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Domestic violence charges are serious and, if convicted, the consequences can follow you for the rest of your life.
With any kind of domestic battery charge, it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive Texas criminal defense attorney on your side, and Rick Davis & Associates can help. We provide experienced legal services and comprehensive representation to clients facing domestic violence charges. We fight vigorously on your side to protect your rights and see that you are given fair treatment. Rick Davis & Associates is proud to serve clients throughout Bryan, Texas, and the surrounding communities of College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Washington County, and Caldwell.
Domestic Violence in Texas
According to the Texas Penal Code, Assault in Texas is defined as any of the following actions:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse.
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse.
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
If the alleged victim in a case is a family member, cohabitant, household member, or a past or current dating partner, the Assault can be designated as Assault – Family Violence.
The Texas Penal Code references the Texas Family Code for the definition of Family Violence. According to the Texas Family Code, “Family violence" can mean any of the following actions:
- An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself
- Abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household
- Dating violence
Per the Texas Family Code, "Dating violence" means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:
1. Is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:
A) With whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or
B) Because of the victim's or applicant's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and
2. Is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
Violation of Bond Conditions
Or other Court Orders
In Texas, a person can also face a new criminal charge for violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond during the act of family violence, child abuse or neglect, sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking cases.
A person commits Aggravated Assault in Texas if the person commits Assault as defined above and the person:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse; or
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Aggravated Assault is usually charged as a Second Degree felony, but if the conduct is directed against a Family member, it can be charged as a First Degree Felony.
Continuous Family Violence
Continuous Family violence occurs a person commits Violation of Bond Conditions or other Court Orders two or more times within a 12- month period. Such an offense is a Third Degree Felony.
Possible Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge
As is the case with most crimes, every domestic violence case is different. Some domestic violence charges can be classified as a felony, such as continuous violence. Others might be classified as a misdemeanor. Under Texas Law:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4,000, or both
- 3rd Degree Felony: From two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- 2nd Degree Felony: From two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and
- 1st Degree Felony: From five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
If you are accused of domestic violence in Texas, there are a variety of other consequences you could face as a result, such as:
- Probation – That is, you could be placed on supervision for a period of time and be required to comply with many terms and conditions of probation.
- Restraining Order – You could be the subject of a Restraining Order.
- Protective Order – You could be the subject of a Protective Order. Violation of a Protective Order is a crime by itself in Texas.
- Loss of Job – You could lose your employment.
- Deportation – If you are not a United States citizen, a conviction for domestic violence could result in deportation.
- Prohibited from Purchasing or Possessing Firearms - This means any firearms you currently possess could be confiscated.
- Loss of Child Custody or Visitation – A domestic violence allegation could be used to change or restrict your rights for child custody or visitation.
The consequences depend on a few factors, such as whether you have had any previous domestic violence charges or other criminal convictions in your history, whether the assault was aggravated or not, whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, and whether there are any children or substance abuse issues involved.
There are a number of different legal defenses that exist for domestic violence charges. You can be falsely accused, completely innocent, lack the necessary intent to commit the crime, or be acting in self-defense. An experienced attorney will examine the details of your case and use these or other defenses in an attempt to pursue the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
How Rick Davis & Associates
Can Help You with Your Case
While you can always rely on a public defender to handle your case, not having a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner can always increase the risk of getting convicted and facing the maximum punishment for your charges. As an attorney with nearly 30 years of experience working within the criminal justice system, I am committed to protecting the rights and liberties of individuals faced with domestic violence charges. If you live in Bryan, Texas, or the surrounding communities of College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Washington County, or Caldwell, don’t face these charges on your own. Call or reach out to my firm, Rick Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law, today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Hire a Skilled Domestic
Violence Defense Attorney
If you are facing domestic violence charges, don't face them alone. Contact Rick Davis & Associates today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation. Together we can sit down and discuss the details of your situation and outline an aggressive defense that can help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t wait. Call or reach out to my office today to learn more about how I can help you defend your name.