Assault on a Family Member in Dallas, TX
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As a specific domestic violence crime, assault family violence is covered under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code. This states a person commits family assault if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury or threaten a family or household member with imminent bodily injury.
Family violence assault charges can apply to blood relatives, like children, relatives by marriage, former spouses, individuals who share a child, roommates, and people with whom you have or have had a dating relationship.
Aggravated Assault Family Violence
An aggravated assault family violence offense starts with assault. Assault is intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury. What makes it aggravated is either the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury. If the aggravated assault is against a family or household member or someone you’re dating, courts label it family violence. Moreover, aggravated assault can also include intentionally or knowingly threatening imminent bodily injury. For example, pointing a gun at a family member could be aggravated assault family violence.
Assault Family Violence Penalties
Assault against family members, and particularly domestic violence against children is punished harshly in Texas. The severity of the charges and the associated penalties for family violence in Dallas, TX, largely depends on the circumstances and any prior convictions for similar crimes.
Charges for assault family violence can range from a misdemeanor to a felony and may lead to collateral consequences. For instance, a first offense for assault family violence is generally a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Prior family assault convictions or cases involving serious injuries can enhance assault charges to a felony.
- Class A Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence– up to 365 days (1 year) in the county jail and up to a $4,000.00 fine.
- Third-Degree Felony Assault Family Violence– 2 to 10 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Second-Degree Felony Assault Family Violence– 2 to 20 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- First-Degree Felony Domestic Assault– 5 to 99 years or up to life in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Affirmative Finding of Family Violence– the judge can make a finding that family violence occurred, which still carries serious and permanent consequences.
A family violence conviction in Dallas can easily result in jail, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Even deferred probation in a family violence case will stay on your record. Family violence charges cannot be sealed from your record, making you ineligible to own or possess a firearm. On top of criminal penalties, family violence in your background can make getting a job more difficult and may result in complications regarding child custody.
Aggravated Assault Family Violence Penalties
Generally, aggravated assault family violence is a second-degree felony. This is the case if it involved a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury. A second-degree felony carries between 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, when it involves both the use of a deadly weapon and causing serious bodily injury, the offense is a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony carries between 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Accused of Family Violence? Call Mike Howard
Unfortunately, many do not know how severe and unfair family violence assault cases can be until it’s too late. Many assume the state will surely see that the case is bad and not prosecute. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Many family violence allegations stem from rash police decisions or are motivated by anger, jealousy, and family disputes.
If you or a loved one are charged with assaulting a family member, your best option is to contact an experienced family violence defense attorney as quickly as possible. At the Law Office of Mike Howard, we focus on seeing the person, not the charges. Let us explain your situation and guide you toward the best possible resolution so you can put the situation behind you.
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- We’ll craft a unique defense.
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A Family Violence Attorney that Fights for You.
Assault family violence is one of the most common criminal charges in Dallas. Many police are trained to arrest someone whenever they receive a domestic call. This often happens even if the accuser doesn’t want to prosecute, when there’s no evidence besides someone’s word, or when both sides say nothing happened. While some accusations are legitimate signs of an abusive relationship and should be investigated, an assault family violence defense lawyer is crucial to ensuring your rights are respected.
A lawyer can help you navigate the process after a family assault arrest. They can highlight flaws, especially in he said / she said scenarios, and advocate for the best possible resolution. For example, if the alleged victim was not injured and does not want to see you prosecuted, your attorney is best suited to explain this to the prosecutor. This could prevent official charges from being filed in the first place.
Your attorney can also pursue alternatives like charge reductions, dismissals, or mental health counseling. This could spare you from time behind bars, fines, and a life-altering conviction.
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- Assault Family Violence – Not Guilty
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- Assault Family Violence – Dismissed
Please visit our criminal defense resource center for more information about your rights and the legal process regarding assault, family violence in Dallas, and other charges.
Family Violence FAQs
What if I’m Falsely Accused of Assault Family Violence?
Unfortunately, some people lie or exaggerate about family violence charges. They may be hoping to gain leverage in a divorce. They could simply have acted rashly in a heated argument. But just because you’re charged with family violence does not mean you’re guilty. A lawyer can uncover inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s story.
What if I Was Acting in Self-Defense?
Self-defense can be a legitimate defense strategy in a family violence case. However, it requires showing that you reasonably believed you were in imminent danger and used appropriate force. This is something you should discuss with your lawyer.
Do I Have to Move Out if I’m Charged with Family Violence?
In some scenarios, you may be forced to leave your home if you’re arrested for assault family violence. For instance, if a protective order is issued, it may require you to stay a certain distance away from the alleged victim. If you live with the victim, this could mean moving out, at least while the case is pending.
Can ‘Victims’ Drop the Family Violence Charges?
No. The state prosecutes cases, not victims. Once charges are filed, the alleged victim cannot simply have them dropped. However, your family violence defense lawyer can work with a cooperative complainant and advocate for a dismissal.
Can I Be Charged with Family Violence If There Were No Injuries?
Yes. Bodily injury only requires someone to say they felt pain, regardless of whether they have a bruise or mark. Threats can also amount to family violence. Harassment and stalking are examples of where you can be charged with a crime even without injuries.
Defend Against Assault Family Violence
While every case is unique, several defense strategies can prove effective if you’re charged with assaulting a family member. These may include showing that police rushed to a judgment, arguing that you were defending yourself, or challenging the victim’s credibility. By utilizing these defenses and other tactics, your defense lawyer may be able to secure you a reduction, dismissal, or get you a not guilty verdict.
Fortunately, prosecutors must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest burden of proof in our justice system and can be a powerful defense when implemented by a skilled family violence defense attorney.
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When you’re ready to take the next steps, attorney Mike Howard is here to discuss your situation and design a plan to deal with Dallas family violence charges. Trust our experience, empathy, and ability to help put charges behind you.
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Located in the Element Towers West Building at 3010 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas, attorney Mike Howard handles criminal cases across Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties at the state level and in the Northern and Eastern Districts at the federal level.