Family Violence in Texas is a catch-all phrase that encompasses a situation where the people involved have a family relationship or a history of dating. There are other relationships that qualify, such as roommates -- so the individuals do not necessarily need to be family members or related.
Sections 71.021 - 71.006 of the Family Code set forth the types of relationships that qualify as "Family Violence" in Texas. This refers to the realtionship of the alleged victim to the accused. Generally, they must be people who are in a dating relationship, married, related, or living together. A prior dating relationship will also qualify, meaning if they have children together but are not in a present relationship, the code section treats them as a 'prior dating relationship.'
This is a complex area of law, and often causes a seperate charge to be filed -- so rather than a regular Assault, prosecutors (at least here in Travis County, Texas) will file the case as Assault Family Violence.
Many offenses can have an added enhancement of Family Violence. For instance, here in Austin, a large number of Violation of Protective Order Family Violence cases have been filed, as have Terroristic Threat Family Violence. This means that the 'threat' was allegedly made to a person described under Sections 71.021 - 71.006 of the Family Code (dating relationship, married, related, or living together). This can not only increase the severity of the offense, but also carry extra punishments if found true, such as a loss of firearm rights.as well as the felony Assault by Strangulation.
Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence is treated far more harshly in the criminal justice system than regular assault -- mainly by prosecutors who seek harsher penalties than common for a typical assault. This is true even if the injury (or lack thereof) is similar to a regular assault where no relationship exists between the parties.
In Austin, Travis County, Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence is typically the offense name for a Class A Misdemeanor. These cases are mainly handled in the 'Family Violence' court, which is County Court #4.You can read the specific Statute and Punishments for Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence below.
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.
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 Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence 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.
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