Have you or your loved one been charged with assault of a family member? If so, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible from a Houston assault family violence lawyer. An assault on a family member charge is a serious allegation made against many who are innocent. It can be a complex case filled with accusations and police reports. This type of assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details of the case.
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In Texas, assault of a family member in Houston is usually filed as a Class A misdemeanor. There are two ways this can happen:
- If the person charged with assault does not have a previous “affirmative finding of family violence” on their record.
- If the assault caused pain or injury that is not considered serious.
The penalties for a misdemeanor charge of assault family violence in Texas will vary from case to case. The court will looks at prior convictions and probation or parole history. Some of the penalties that may be attached to a misdemeanor charge include:
- Treatment programs
- Short to moderate jail sentence
- Restitution to the victim
Even a light to moderate penalty can affect the person accused of assault family violence for a lifetime. Deferred adjudication of the sentence will leave a person with a record of “affirmative finding of family violence.” That finding will result in the loss of the right to possess a firearm for a period of time determined by the law. It also means an automatic felony charge if accused of assault of a family member in the future.
Assault of a family member that impedes breathing is filed as a 3rd-degree felony in Texas. Officers will ask the alleged victim if they were unable to breathe for any period of time during an alleged assault. If the alleged victim says yes, then the officers will likely charge the person with felony assault of a family member due to impeding breath. This can result in prison time from 2-10 years and a felony conviction on a permanent record.
Who Is Considered a Family Member Under Texas Law?
Under Texas law, a family member is broadly defined and includes:
- Foster parents and children
It also extends to individuals who are or have been in a dating relationship, including those currently or previously involved in a romantic or intimate relationship.
How Can a Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer Help Defend My Case?
Possible defenses to assault family member charges in Texas can include:
- Lack of proof: Your Houston domestic violence lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and argue that there is insufficient proof to establish that you committed assault family violence. They may question the credibility of witnesses or highlight inconsistencies in their statements.
- Self-defense: If you acted in self-defense or in defense of others, your lawyer can present evidence and arguments to support this claim. They can demonstrate that your actions were necessary to protect yourself or someone else from harm.
- Lack of intent: Your attorney may argue that you did not have the intent to commit assault family violence. They can present evidence or witnesses that show your actions were accidental or unintentional, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you.
- False accusation: Another potential defense is demonstrating that the allegations are simply untrue. Your attorney can gather evidence to establish that the allegations made against you are untrue or motivated by ulterior motives, such as revenge, jealousy, or a desire to gain an advantage in a divorce or custody proceeding.
Having a domestic violence lawyer by your side can be crucial if you are facing assault family violence charges in Houston. With their expertise in the laws and regulations surrounding these charges, they can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to navigate through the legal process.
Answers to Your Questions About Assault Charges in Texas
What is continuous family violence?
Under Texas law, a person can be charged with felony continuous family violence if they are accused of committing assault against a family member two or more times. But there are a few things to note:
• You don’t have to be charged with assaulting the same person.
• Depending on the case, the previous case may not have a time expiration.
• The previous charge does not have to have resulted in a conviction.
Can a victim get family violence charges against me dropped?
The answer is dependent on several factors:
• The Alleged Act- what exactly happened? Was there a weapon involved?
• The Existence of injuries- injuries generally point to a deeper problem in the household and generally take dropping the case off the table.
• The Defendant’s Criminal History
Can a family violence protective order affect firearm possession rights in Texas?
Your rights to firearm possession will be taken away if you are subject to a Family Violence Protective Order. The only way to get your rights to gun ownership back is to have your conviction expunged or set aside, or if you have been pardoned or had your civil rights restored.
What qualifies as domestic violence in Texas?
The state of Texas does not have a statute that specifically addresses domestic violence. Typically, these charges fall under Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. Sec. 22.01 defines assault as when a person knowingly engages in the following:
– intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
– Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;
Under the Texas Family Code: Title 4, Subtitle A, Chapter 71, Sec. 71.004, “family violence” is
an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in or reasonably places the member in fear of:
– Physical harm
– Bodily injury
– Sexual assault
What is the punishment for assault on family member in Texas?
Depending on the severity of the violence, the penalties upon conviction can be:
– Class C misdemeanor: Fine of up to $500
– Class A misdemeanor: Jail time of up to one year and/or fine of up to $4,000
– Felony: Two to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine
Act Fast for Results. Hire a Houston Assault Family Violence Lawyer Today.
If you have been charged with assault family violence in Houston, you need the advice of an attorney as quickly as possible. Time is a very important factor in an assault family member case. Statements made to police and the DA’s office will be held against the accused throughout the case. Houston assault family violence lawyer Lisa Shapiro Strauss can help keep your name in good standing by fighting assault family violence accusations.
These cases can be full of false accusations or incomplete police work. When police are called to the scene, officers may assume an assault occurred. This makes a family member assault case even harder to fight.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss understands that cases involving assault of a family member are emotional. As an Assistant DA, she spent six months as the Chief Prosecutor of the court handling only these types of cases. She now uses this experience to defend clients against domestic violence charges.
Harris County Assault Charge Case Results
State vs. DD: Client charged with Assault of a Family Member. Lisa got the case dismissed.
State vs AC: Client charged with Assault of a Family Member or Household Member with a Previous Conviction. Lisa got the case dismissed.
State vs. JT: Client charged with Assault of a Family Member. Lisa got the case dismissed.
State vs MG: Client charged with Assault of a Family Member or Household Member with a Previous Conviction. Lisa got the case dismissed.