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When Can a Person Be Charged With Domestic Assault in Texas?

 Posted on November 11, 2022 in Criminal Defense

fort worth domestic violence lawyerDomestic disputes can occur in a variety of situations, and they can sometimes escalate to the point where a person may be arrested and charged with domestic assault or other offenses involving family violence. Many people believe that domestic assault only occurs when there is a physical altercation between spouses, family members, or people who are in a romantic relationship. However, domestic assault charges can be filed in other situations as well, even in cases where there was no physical contact between the alleged victim and the accused (Terroristic Threat). It is important to understand the specific charges that may apply in these situations and the consequences you may face if you are convicted. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you can determine your best options for defending against domestic assault or family violence charges.

What Is Domestic Assault in Texas?

The Texas Penal Code states that a person can be charged with assault if they do one of the following:

  • Intentionally cause someone else to suffer a bodily injury.

  • Intentionally make physical contact with someone else in a way that the person regards as offensive or provocative.

Actions constituting assault are considered to be domestic assault if the alleged victim is a member of the alleged perpetrator's family or household. Family members may include spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, people who have one or more children together, other blood relatives, people who live in the same home, and current or former dating partners. 

What Is a Bodily Injury?

In cases involving assault charges, a bodily injury may include any physical pain or illness that a person experiences. It can also refer to any type of impairment to a person's physical condition. For example, if a person experiences a bloody nose, bruises, or other physical symptoms after being struck by someone else, these would be considered bodily injuries. In cases involving serious bodily injuries, aggravated assault charges may apply. Serious bodily injuries include any forms of physical harm that put someone at risk of dying or result in permanent disabilities or disfigurement. For example, a blow to the head that results in a traumatic brain injury may be considered a serious bodily injury.

Penalties for Domestic Assault in Texas

Domestic assault involving bodily injury is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, and this type of charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, if a person had previously been convicted of an offense involving family violence, they may be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of two to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Charges for aggravated domestic assault are more serious, and a conviction is likely to result in a lengthy prison sentence and large fines. A person accused of domestic assault involving serious bodily injuries may be charged with a second-degree felony, and a conviction may result in a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. If a person is accused of using a deadly weapon when committing aggravated domestic assault, they may be charged with a first-degree felony, and if convicted, they may face a prison sentence of between five and 99 years.

In addition, a person who is convicted of either misdemeanor or felony domestic assault will likely be required to complete counseling or treatment programs. They may also be subject to a protective order preventing them from having contact with the alleged victim or other family members and putting other restrictions in place, such as a prohibition against owning or possessing firearms.

Contact Our Tarrant County Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer

Domestic assault is a serious charge in Texas. If you are facing charges related to family violence, it is important to understand the exact offenses you are accused of and the possible penalties you may face. At The Dameron Law Firm, our experienced Fort Worth family violence defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights. We will fight for the best possible outcome in your case and help you protect your reputation and family relationships. Contact us at 817-222-0624 to set up a free consultation today.


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