Any person who commits an assaultive act on a family or household member may face domestic assault charges. A domestic assault charge comes with heavy consequences. Those convicted may face steep fines, possible incarceration, and a criminal record.
Families can be complex. Sometimes law enforcement makes a hasty arrest without knowing the full story. No matter the circumstances, if you or someone you know has been arrested for domestic assault it is vital that you gain legal representation.
Houston Attorney for Domestic Assault in Texas
Domestic assault is when a person threatens bodily injury or causes bodily injury on a family or household member. Any person, charged with domestic assault, should seek trusted legal representation. Find a skilled attorney with The Benken Law Firm.
Brian Benken is a distinguished attorney who has a strong focus in criminal defense. Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is skilled and excel at creating criminal defenses. He is passionate about defending our client’s rights. Let Brian Benken navigate you through this legal process. Call the attorneys at (713) 223 - 4051 today.
Attorney Brian Benken defends those accused of domestic violence throughout all parts of Harris County including Houston, Pasadena, Houston Heights, Meyerland, and Bellaire.
Get ahead and call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.
Overview for Domestic Assault in Texas
- Definitions for Domestic Violence
- Penalties for Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Domestic Assault Penalties
- Additional Resources
Definitions for Domestic Assault in Houston, Texas
The Texas Penal Code § 22.01 states that a person must do the following to be convicted of domestic assault
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
The key component of a domestic assault charge is whom it is directed to. The parties to the crime must have either a dating relationship, family relationship or is a member of the household to be considered a domestic violence crime. The following are the definitions of family relationships and dating relationships under Texas law.
- Family – Individuals who are related by consanguinity or affinity. The term consanguinity refers to those who are related by blood. The term affinity refers to those related by marriage or is the spouse of a blood relative.
- Members of a Household – People who live in the same household, or have previously been in the same household. Members of a household do not need 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.
Some examples of family or household members include:
- Aunts or uncles;
- Foster children;
- Foster parents; or
- Foster siblings.
Texas Penalties for Domestic Assault in Houston
Under Texas law, the penalties for domestic assault are reliant on the alleged offender’s criminal history and if he or she caused bodily injury. An individual will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they threaten bodily injury or offensive physical contact. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to $500.
Individuals who cause bodily injury to a family member or spouse may receive a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor includes 12 months in Harris County jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
If a person commits domestic assault and has a previous conviction for domestic violence, he or she will face a third-degree felony. The legal consequences for a third-degree felony are a maximum prison sentence of up to ten years and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Any individual who has a criminal history of domestic violence, and intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood at a family member’s throat or neck, will face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony are maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Domestic Assault in Harris County, Texas
Depending on the circumstances, an assault charge can be elevated to aggravated assault. If the following aggravating factors are present during the commission of the offense, the alleged offender may be charged with aggravated assault:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another; or
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
If a person commits aggravated domestic assault, he or she may face a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Any individual who commits aggravated domestic assault by using a deadly weapon that causes serious bodily injury may face a first-degree felony. The legal consequences include a maximum prison sentence of 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Domestic Assault Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code. Find more information regarding assault and aggravated assault. Learn the following penalties, charge elements, and admissible defenses in court.
Domestic Violence Services – Visit the official website for the Houston Bar Association, and learn more about their domestic violence services. Find more information regarding the domestic violence hotline and list of homeless shelters for domestic violence victims.
Lawyer for Domestic Assault in Harris County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic assault in the Harris County area, it is important that you seek a domestic violence attorney. A skilled attorney can file motions, suppress evidence, and uncover all your legal options.
Brian Benken is experienced in handling all sorts of domestic violence cases. Using his extensive resources, Attorney Benken can discover all your available legal routes. Rest assured, with The Benken Law Firm, you will never be left in the dark. Brian Benken will inform you every step of the way, and help you understand the intricacies of Texas criminal court system.
Stay ahead today. Attorney Brian Benken practices law throughout all parts of the Houston area including Houston Heights, Westbury, Alief, Westchase, and Greenspoint.
Call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free consultation.
This article was last updated on October 4, 2018.