Assault Family Violence
Family violence is one of the most common charges that we deal with in Texas. It is a very serious misdemeanor offense and can ruin a person’s life for quite some years if a person is convicted with the charge. Under the Texas Penal Code section 22.01 assault is described as;
a) A person commits an offense if the person:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily harm, including the person’s spouse; or
- 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.
b) An offense under subsection (a) (1) is a Class A misdemeanor except that the offense is a third degree felony if the person was previously convicted of an offense under this chapter or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure to the person’s throat on neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.
Punishment for Family Violence
The assault against a family member is considered as a very serious crime. Family assault cases can be categorized into two types of case. The first is case is the one where the victim wants the defendant to pay for what he has done whereas in the other case the victim doesn’t want to pursue charges against the defendant.
If the assault is reported once against a person it is treat as a Class A offense whereas in the case of continuous family violence the Class A offense is converted into a felony of third degree. The punishment of a felon may be a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
How to defend a domestic assault charge
Domestic assault charges should never be taken lightly. Prosecutors in Texas are very aggressive in the case of domestic assault and do not dismiss the charge even in the cases where the victim doesn’t want to pursue charges until a defense attorney convinces them that the charge can’t be proven.
The best way for a defendant to defend the charge is to hire a defense attorney who understands the case properly and have quite an experience in the family disputes. The best approach is to play the Self Defense card. This is a very strong defense strategy because once the defendant proves through facts that the act of violence was self-defense the victim has to prove that the force used was not justified. Penalties and punishments relating to a domestic violence assault are very harsh and such cases can affect the professional status, immigration status and livelihood of the defendant which is why a defense attorney should be hired as soon as possible. Defense attorneys can help you attempt to get the case dismissed or can help reduce the criminal charges.