Assault Intentionally or Recklessly Impede Breath Circulation or Assault Family Member Household Member, Impede Breath Circulation

Assault Family Member Household Member, Impede Breath Circulation

If there is a claim of Strangulation during a Family Assault, then the offense can be charged in Texas as 'Assault Family Member Household Member, Impede Breath Circulation.' Sometimes the charge will have a 'mental state' added, such as 'Assault Intentionally or Recklessly Impede Breath Circulation.' Both offense titles mean the same thing: An assault that involves choking or restriction of the breathing airway -- or sometimes even hands around the neck with pressure.

And, the parties involved must be considered one of the three types of relationships under Family Violence: Dating Relationship, Family Member, and Household Member.

Assault Intentionally or Recklessly Impede Breath Circulation is a very serious type of assault, since the allegation of "Strangulation" by itself causes the assault to be an automatic 3rd Degree Felony. A prior assault may enhance the new Impede Breath Circulation Assault case to a 2nd Degree Felony.

You can read the specific Assault Statute below, as well as the Punishments for Assault


What You Need To Know

Assault Impede Breath, Circulation must involve the following, as noted in the statute below:

"impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth."
Impeding means to delay or prohibit, so the strangulation can range from full choking all the way down to merely making it difficult to breath.


Loss of Gun Rights and Family Violence Findings

A Conviction of Family Assault, regardless of the additional "finding" by the Judge that family violence occurred, will cause a person to lose the right to buy or possess firearms or ammunition. Regardless of whether a conviction is a misdemeanor or felony, the loss of gun rights occurs at the state and federal level, and can cause serious life-long consequences.



Closely Related Offenses

If there is no strangulation involved, then Family Assault falls under either the Misdemeanor offense of Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence. also relies heavily on a Dating Relationship, Family Member, Household Member. or at the felony level, especially if there are prior family assault convictions. The Felony offense is Assault Causes Bodily Injury Dating, Family, Household Member.

But there are other types of Assault. The most basic assaultive offense, Assault, is one that does not involve a specific relationship between the parties. A classic example of Assault would be a bar fight between strangers.

A Full List of Assault Offenses can be found below, or by clicking Assault Offenses in Texas.


Jail Release and Bond for Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence

Felony Impeding Breath Family Assaults are among the more difficult to obtain a personal bond. In Travis County, Judges' commonly need to hear from the alleged victim prior to agreeing to release -- and even then, Judges' frequently add bond conditions such as Stay Away/No Contact Orders, GPS Ankle Monitor, and House Arrest.

To make things more difficult, in 2020, Governor Abbot's Covid related Governor's Orders made it more difficult for a person to get a Personal Bond, if that person had a past assault conviction on their record, or if the current charge was a assault.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.

Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Legislative Update 2021: Senate Bill 6 Passed. Senate Bill 6, passed in the legislature in 2021, drastically altered the availability of personal bonds in the criminal justice system. As a reminder, a personal bond is a release from jail by the court without needing to pay for it. Senate Bill 6, specifically Art. A17.027, mainly prohibits a new Judge from releasing a person on a personal bond if that person was re-arrested while out on bond for certain offenses. In other words, a situation where a person was already released on bond, and that case is still pending -- and then they are arrested on a new (usually violent) charge. In that situation, the original Judge (the one presiding over the first arrest) has control over personal bonds, to an extent. This is a newly evolving statute and law, and only certain offenses apply, so call us if you or your loved one has been either re-arrested or has a warrant while already on bond with a pending case.

Defenses to Assault Impede Breath, Circulation

Officers are trained to look for signs of strangulation, since it's so easy to just claim strangulation and have a person arrested for a felony. Officers may look for redness, swelling, broken blood vessels, or petechiae. The lack of these physical observations of strangulation may yield defenses for the accused.



What Our Clients are Saying

"We went to trial on the charges, twice. First was a mistrial based on juror misconduct. Then, at the second trial, prosecutors dismissed the case on the 2nd day of jury trial. My best decision was hiring Robert Keates." -Michael L.
"Prosecutors wanted probation the entire time, but we held out and set the case for trial. They dismissed on the morning before trial was to start. I trusted Robert and the right outcome happened. Robert was dedicated and knew what to do, and when." -Louie C.

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If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.


Work with an Experienced Assault Impede Breath, Circulation Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Assault Impede Breath, Circulation cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.


Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.


How We Can Help

The goals vary for individuals charged with Assault Impede Breath, Circulation charge, and range from a full dismissal, to a reduced charge, or avoiding jail or prison. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.

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Our Reviews and Results

Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of Dismissals and Acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.
  • DWI Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Harassment Offense: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Felony Possession of Marijuana/Hashish Dismissed
  • DWI 2nd (Drugs): Dismissed
  • DWI (Alcohol and Drugs): Dismissed
  • Felony Theft of Stolen Property: Dismissed
  • Assault, Bodily Injury: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
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Payment Plans

Legal Fees are typically unexpected, so Keates Law Firm realizes that most people don't have thousands of dollars immediatly available after an unexpected arrest. Keates Law Firm offers no interest Payment Plans for legal fees for cases in Austin, Travis County. Most Payment Plans require a credit or debit card on file, with a deposit for representation. Attorney Payment Plans are paid monthly with no interest. Payment Plan Lawyers in Austin, Travis County are few, but Keates Law Firm has had success and many happy clients who appreciate spreading out legal fees over payments. Check out our Austin Attorney Payment Plans page for more details, or call for a Free Consultation.



Sec. 22.01(B). ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE.

(B) the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth;



Penalties for Family Assault
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class B Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class A Misdemeanor Not Applicable
State jail felony Not Applicable
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

Frequently Asked Questions



Is Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence on a family member a felony in Austin, Travis County, Texas?
Not always. It depends on the severity of the alleged assault. Grabbing, striking, pushing, and minor contact is typically a misdemeanor, while assaults resulting in broken bones, bleeding, and serious bodily injury can be charges as a felony. If there is the allegation of strangulation, the charge is a 3rd degree felony.

Which is worse assault or Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence in Austin, Travis County, Texas?
Family Assault, or Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence, is the more serious offense in Texas. Family Assault convictions carry mandatory loss of rights that a person may not have on a regular assault case, such as loss of gun rights and the inability to seal any future charge from the person's criminal record.

Can the victim drop Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence charges in Austin, Travis County, Texas with an affidavit of nonprosecution?
Yes, but in Travis County, it doesn't help much. Prosecutors, working under the State of Texas, are the ones actually pressing charges. Even when an alleged victim files paperwork to drop the charges, prosecutors rarely dismiss just because of that.

How much is bail for Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence in Austin, Travis County, Texas?
It varies. Felony cases can range from $5,000 to $100,000+, while Misdemeanor Family Assault bond can range from $2,500 to $7,500+. An Attorney can help post a Personal Bond to avoid paying those full cash bond amounts.

How long do you stay in jail for Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence in Austin, Travis County, Texas?
It's up to the Judge. Some people are released quickly (24 hours or less) after arrest, while others remain in jail months awaiting trial. Protective Orders play a large role in pretrial release on bond. Release on Assault cases have become far more difficult with new legislation.

Do I need a lawyer for a Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence case in Austin, Travis County, Texas?
Absolutely. Family Assault is one of the most serious offenses in Texas. Not only will you need an attorney, but it's best to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible to ensure a proper investigation and to file the appropriate motions at the outset.


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