Domestic Assault, Family Violence

Domestic Assault, Family Violence

Domestic Assault, or Family Violence, is a subcategory of assault. It involves people who are in a dating relationship, married, related, or even those that live together. Domestic Assault, Family Violence is treated far more harshly in the criminal justice system than regular assault. For that reason, it's important to note the key differences, and hire an attorny who knows how to handle these cases.

What you Need to Know

Family Violence charges carry several issues that impact a person's life, even while the case is pending. Protective Orders are almost automatically granted, which may limit the accused person's access to their home, children, and personal property. Plus, many Judges are reluctant to grant Personal Bonds, which makes getting out of jail harder. It's important to get our of jail quickly, since Domestic Assault, or Family Violence cases often take longer to either resolve, get dismissed, or go to trial.

Affidavits of Nonprosecution

Family Violence offenses, but their nature, involve another person: the alleged victim. Sometimes, the alleged victim doesn't want to press charges. In Travis County, officers will still make the arrest and forward the case to the prosecutors. At that point, it can be important to have an Affidavit of Nonprosecution. This is a legal document where the alleged victim requests the charges be dropped. While it doesn't guarantee the Domestic Assault, or Family Violence case will be dismissed, at a minimum, it lets the prosecutor know that the alleged victim is not interested in a conviction.


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Sec. 22.01(2). ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person: (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse; (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or (3) 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.

(2) a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021(b), 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code, if: (A) it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Section 20.03, 20.04, 21.11, or 25.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021(b), 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code; or (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;


What are the Punishments?

Family Violence case can be either Misdemeanors or Felonys. Often times, the penalties for family assault or domestic violence are harsher than would be normal for a standard assault. Domestic Violence offenses can often lead to jail time and a temporary or permanant loss of parental rights. There may also be a loss of Firearm Rights, and individuals on Probation will need to surrender all registered (and unregistered) firearms.


Penalties for Family Assault
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail, and/or no more than $10,000 fines
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines


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