In Texas, a domestic violence crime can lead to life-changing consequences. The crime of domestic violence applies to violent behavior between family and household members. Under Texas law, domestic violence is referred to as “family violence.”
Domestic violence crimes are usually complex and full of emotion. Normally, a case of family violence has a long history of context. In some cases, law enforcement does not understand the full situation before making an arrest.
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation.
Domestic Violence Lawyer in Houston, TX
A domestic violence charge can result in heavy penalties. Those convicted of domestic violence may face steep fines, and even possible jail or prison time. You must be aware of what may happen next. Call attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm for trusted legal counsel.
Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is experienced in handling all types of domestic violence cases. He understands that situations can get out of control between family members. Brian Benken cares immensely about each and every client. Gain an attorney who is here for you. Call Brian Benken now at (713) 223 - 4051.
The Benken Law Firm defends those accused of domestic violence throughout all parts of Harris County such as Houston and it’s communities including Meyerland, Westchase, Greenspoint, and Alief.
Get ahead and call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.
Overview for Domestic Violence Charges in Texas
- Domestic Violence in Texas
- Texas Family Code Domestic Violence
- Additional Resources for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence serves as an umbrella term for a variety of offenses. It is too broad to include in a single statute. The charges are determined by the circumstances and other additional factors. Some of these include the suffering of the victim and the alleged offender’s prior criminal record. Some common examples of domestic violence include:
- Child abuse;
- Child endangerment;
- Child abandonment;
- Domestic assault;
- Assault with strangulation;
- Violation of a Protective Order;
- Stalking or Aggravated Stalking; or
- Continuous violence against the family.
The crime of domestic violence is when a member of the family or household is violent against another member of the family or household. For an attack to be considered domestic violence, it must include the following elements:
- It was intended to result in physical harm, assault, sexual assault, bodily injury; or
- It was a threat that reasonably places the alleged victim in fear of imminent physical harm, assault, bodily injury, or sexual assault.
Domestic violence crimes can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charges. The highest offense a person can be charged with is a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony may result in between five and 99 years or life in prison.
Listed below are a few types of family violence definitions under Texas Family Code § 71.00:
- Family Violence – An assaultive act that includes individuals related by consanguinity (blood relatives) or affinity (marriage or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by blood to the other person), individuals who are parents of the same child, foster parents and foster children. The act or attack must be intended to result in bodily injury, assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, physical harm, or any act that places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm.
- Household – A unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related by blood or marriage.
- Members of a Household – A person who previously lived in the household. He or she does not have to be related by blood or affinity.
- Dating Relationship – A relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing romantic or intimate relationship. The existence of such a relationship is dependent on the length of the relationship, the nature of the relationship, the frequency of interactions, and the type of interactions between the parties involved.
- Dating Violence – An act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an alleged offender that is committed against an alleged victim or applicant for a protective order with whom the alleged offender has or had in the past:
- An intimate dating relationship or marriage; and
- Did the act with the intent to result in physical harm, sexual assault, assault, kidnapping, physical harm; or
- That the threat reasonably placed the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, kidnapping, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
Family Violence Unit | Houston Police Department – Visit the official website for the Houston Police Department. Find more information regarding their family violence unit. Gain access to their resources, safety plan, and tips on how to handle a stalker.
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse | AVDA – Visit the official website for the Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, a unique non-profit that has served Houston for over 37 years. AVDA goal is to end family violence by advocating for the safety and self-determination of victims, promoting accountability for abusers, and fostering a community response to abuse.
Texas Health and Human Services: Family Violence Program – The Family Violence Program promotes self-sufficiency, safety, and long-term independence of adult and child victims of family violence and victims of teen dating violence. The program provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims and their children, educates the public, and provides training, and prevention support to various organizations across Texas. All services are free of charge.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – The National Domestic Violence Hotline website is a free and confidential line to report domestic violence. Visit the website to call or chat with a live representative. You can also view resources about abuse, specifically digital abuse, financial abuse, gaslighting, and emotional abuse.
Texas Abuse Hotline – Department of Family and Protective Services – The Department of Family and Protective Services provides this secure website for reporting suspicions of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, adults with disabilities, or people 65 years or older. Click the link to report a situation that does not need to be investigated right away. The webpage advises that if you need to report urgent or emergency situations, to call Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400).
Domestic Violence Attorneys in Harris County, TX
Have you or someone in your family been charged with domestic violence in the Harris County area? It is important that you seek trusted legal representation. Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is experienced in handling all types of family violence charges.
Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm has handled numerous domestic violence cases. He understands the ins and outs of Texas criminal laws. Rest assured, Brian Benken will employ every resource and tactic to obtain the best possible result for your charges. Find trusted legal counsel with The Benken Law Firm.
The Benken Law Firm defends those accused of crimes in all communities in Harris County and surrounding counties in Texas. Schedule a free consultation online today. Call us at (713) 223 - 4051 for legal representation with a seasoned criminal defense attorney.