A dispute with a family member that gets out of hand or a police report stating you committed assault against someone considered your family member could quickly become an arrest for domestic violence. A conviction could mean jail time and other stiff penalties, including protective orders.
The offense can also cause problems with visitation or custody arrangements and might mean a conviction for a violent crime on your permanent record. The state will usually prosecute domestic or family assault charges harshly because of their nature and tendency to be violent, making it vital to plan a solid defense strategy with a skilled attorney. Schedule a meeting with a dedicated Frisco domestic violence lawyer for more information about legal options.
Actions Leading to Domestic Violence Arrests
When someone is accused of the following actions against a family member, spouse or a person they dated, they could face domestic violence charges.
- Intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm to a domestic partner or family member
- Knowingly and intentionally threatening a family member or spouse, putting them in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injuries
- Intentional physical contact knowing the action is offensive or provocative
A first offense for domestic violence usually results in a Class A misdemeanor. However, when aggravating factors are present, such as causing severe bodily injury, that could elevate the charges substantially. A lawyer in Frisco could review a domestic violence offense and determine the possible consequences.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions
Penalties for domestic violence convictions vary and may be severe depending on the circumstances. A conviction could mean long prison sentences, steep fines, and a permanent criminal record.
A first-offense conviction for domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor but becomes a third-degree felony if the person has prior convictions for family violence. A conviction for a misdemeanor could lead to up to one year in jail and paying $4,000 in fines. A conviction for a felony domestic violence charge can lead to between two years and ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
Aggravated domestic assault involves causing serious bodily injury or using a deadly weapon and depending on the facts of the case is a second or first-degree felony. A conviction for a second-degree felony can be punished by between two years and 20 years in prison while a first-degree felony is punishable by five to 99 years of imprisonment. Both second and first-degree felonies carry fines up to $10,000.
Continuous violence against a family member involves two or more accusations for domestic assault in a twelve-month period. This is a a third-degree felony and carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and spending as many as ten years in prison. A domestic violence attorney in Frisco can answer specific questions about the family violence statutes and punishments and help determine the best way forward.
Texas Family Violence Statute
Family violence involves causing intentional bodily injury to a family member. Threatening to cause bodily injuries or placing a family member in reasonable fear of imminent harm also fall within the statute. Under Texas Family Code § 71.004, family members include the following:
- Spouse or partner
- Former spouse or partner
- Co-parents sharing a child
- Parents and children, including adopted or fostered children
- Siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins
- Grandparents and grandchildren
- Individuals who have been or were in a dating relationship
Often, the state will attempt to prosecute even when the alleged victim wants to drop the charges. A domestic violence lawyer in Frisco can investigate and help develop a defense strategy unique to the case specifics.
Schedule a Consultation with a Skilled Frisco Domestic Violence Attorney
A disagreement with a spouse or family member can cause a severe disruption in your life and have lasting consequences. Further, many people decide not to continue the case against their loved one, and the state denies their request to drop the charges. Therefore, preparing a defense to protect your rights and future is crucial.
Schedule to meet with a hard-working Frisco domestic violence lawyer to help build a defense against charges, big or small. Our attorneys have the experience to take on any criminal case. Call today to get started.