There are three crimes of domestic violence recognized in Texas: Domestic Assault, Continuous Violence against the Family, and Aggravated Domestic Assault. Domestic violence is committed against a household member, a family member, or someone that the offender dated in the past or is currently dating.
Domestic assault constitutes any physical contact, such as pushing, grabbing, hitting, etc., with or without injury. It can also include physical intimidation or threats of violence or weapons. The potential penalties associated with the charges depend on the degree of threat and prior domestic violence convictions.
The criminal system is complicated and ignorance can cost you dearly. So before you decide to represent yourself and plea on your own to a domestic violence charge, be aware that the collateral consequences can affect your place of residency, your place of work, and your freedom. It’s important that you consult with a domestic violence attorney to protect your rights.
The degree of violence plays a significant role in the kind of sentence the alleged offender may face. The penalties vary from a simple probation period to a prison sentence.
- Domestic assault will be classified as a Class C misdemeanor if the victim doesn’t experience lasting harm or physical pain. The offense is punishable by a $500 fine.
- Domestic assault will be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if the violence left physical marks (like bruises), caused pain, or resulted in lasting bodily injury (like a broken jaw). The offence is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a year in jail.
- A third-degree felony may be charged for strangulation or accounts of prior domestic violence convictions. These are punishable by 2–10 years in prison.
Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Conviction
In addition to criminal penalties, a domestic violence charge can carry a number of consequences:
Loss Of Employment
Since a domestic violence charge is part of the public record, you may not only lose your job as a result of an arrest or conviction, but it will also negatively impact future employment opportunities.
Get in touch with J.L. Carpenter, a leading defense attorney, to find out how you can get your record expunged if you’re found not guilty. An expungement resets your criminal record back to where it was before you were charged. It erases the record completely.
Custody Rights And False Accusations
Being convicted for a domestic violence charge can cost you the custody of your children in some cases. Additionally, it could affect your rights as a parent if you’re involved in a custody dispute. Plus, you may also be served court-issued protective orders which impact your child custody and visitation rights. A false domestic violence charge can be used as leverage against someone involved in a child custody case.
Lose Housing Opportunities
Much like employers, potential landlords also run background checks when renting houses. You may find it difficult to obtain the housing you want in case of a domestic violence conviction.
Hire A Fearless Domestic Violence Attorney In Houston
Where there are serious allegations, there are potentially life-changing consequences. You need an experienced trial lawyer by your side who can champion your rights in front of a jury of your peers.
An aggressive domestic and family violence attorney like J.L. Carpenter will review your case to develop a relentless defense strategy to defend you from domestic and family violence charges and work with the goal of getting your case dismissed. She’s also one of the top DWI defense attorneys in Friendswood.
Contact J.L. Carpenter Law today and start fighting.