Continuous Violence Against the Family
Most domestic violence crimes are charged as misdemeanors as the court focuses on rehabilitating the family unit. However, if you have a criminal history of domestic violence, your charges may be reclassified as a felony. Committing domestic assault whilst having a history of domestic violence can result in a felony charge of continuous violence against the family.
Upon conviction, the penalties for continuous violence against the family are particularly harsh. If the court convicts you, you might be sentenced to years in prison and pay steep court fines out of pocket. Unfortunately, these are just the statutory penalties for the crime. Since continuous violence against the family is a crime of moral turpitude, a conviction could also affect current or future employment opportunities. You may even lose custody of your children and be unable to live in your home if the alleged victim files a protection order against you.
For these reasons and more, we highly encourage you to seek legal representation if you’ve been charged with continuous violence against the family.
Houston Lawyer for Continuous Violence Against the Family | Harris County, TX
Every family has their struggles and every member of the unit typically shares a deep history. That is why the majority of family issues are incredibly complex, and it can be hard to get the full picture from an outsider’s perspective. Attorney Brian Benken understands that there is always two sides to every story, and that is why we want to represent you if you’ve been charged with domestic violence including continuous violence against the family.
Brain Benken has represented numerous people accused of domestic violence and helped them achieve reduced or dismissed charges. You can trust him to uncover every legal option available to you and develop a defense plan capable of dismantling the prosecution’s argument. Call his office today at (713) 223 - 4051 and schedule your first consultation with an experienced Harris County domestic violence lawyer today.
Definition of Family Violence in Texas
The term “family violence” is defined under the Texas Penal Code section 71.004. According to the statute, family violence includes any of the following:
- Any action committed by one family or household member against another that is:
- Intended to cause one of the following to the alleged victim:
- Physical harm
- Bodily injury
- Sexual assault
- Threatened another family or household member so they have a reasonable fear of one of the following:
- Any of the following actions committed by a family or household member against a child of the family would constitute as family violence
- Physical injury resulting in substantial harm to the child or has a risk of substantial harm
- Harmful sexual conduct that could affect a child’s mental, physical and emotional state. Including continuous sexual abuse of a young child, indecent with a child, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault.
- Forcing or encouraging a child into sexual conduct, trafficking, prostitution or compelling prostitution as defined under Texas law
- Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging, or allowing pornographic or obese photography/film of the child
- Use of a controlled substance that eventually results in injury to the child’s emotional, physical and mental state
- Encouraging, causing or permitting a child to use a controlled substance
- Permitting, encouraging, causing or engaging in sexual performance by a child
- Forcing or coercing a child to enter into a marriage
- Dating violence as defined under Section 7.0021
- Intended to cause one of the following to the alleged victim:
What is Continuous Violence Against the Family?
Texas has strict domestic violence laws in an effort to protect families. However, the stringent nature of these laws means you could be in hot water if you have a criminal history of domestic violence. Under the Texas Penal Code, if you’ve engaged in domestic assault conduct twice or more in one year, then you may face charges for continuous violence against the family.
Domestic assault is defined under the Texas Penal Code section 22.01. The statute establishes that you don’t have to physically harm another person to face domestic assault charges. Threats of violence constitute as domestic assault, so you could be arrested without laying a hand on anyone.
According to the statutes, domestic assault is defined as:
- Inflicting bodily harm intentionally on a family or household member
- Threaten another family or household member with bodily injury or harm
- Make physical contact with a family or household member that any prudent person would reasonably believe to be offensive and/or provocative
It’s important to remember the jury doesn’t have to unanimously agree on the specifics of the assault or even the date of assault to convict you. They only need to determine if you’ve committed domestic assault twice or more within a 12-month period. For these reasons and more, continuous violence against the family charges can be difficult to defend.
To be charged with continuous violence, the assault doesn’t have to be directed at one family or household member. It can be committed against two different people as long as they are both members of the same family or household.
Continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony punishable by:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
Family Violence Benchbook in Texas– Visit the official website of Texas Courts to gain access to the Texas Family Violence Benchbook, which is a a reference for judges and other legal professionals for domestic violence cases. Access the document to learn more about domestic violence crimes, how to get a protective order, child custody if family violence occurs, and other important information.
Family Violence Report by DPS – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to read their statistical report on family violence for the state. Access the document to read data and statistics related to domestic violence in Texas collected by the Department of Public Safety.
Houston Continuous Family Violence Lawyer, Texas
If you or someone you know has been arrested for continuous violence against the family or any other related domestic violence crime, contact The Benken Law Firm. Brian Benken has the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to build a strong defense against the prosecution. Stay silent with law enforcement and start charting your defense today with Brian Benken.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to set up your first consultation with Brian Benkenn. The Benken Law Firm is located in Harris County but accept clients in all parts of Texas including Hunters Creek Village, Southside Place, Gulfton, and more.