A domestic assault refers to an assault crime that is committed against a family or household member or person with whom the alleged offender has or had a dating relationship. Domestic assault charges are some of the most common results of many domestic violence calls that police respond to because even minor infractions can be deemed assault offenses in Texas.
The result is that alleged victims can claim to have suffered a bodily injury for minor pushes or shoves and some people may be arrested for completely fabricated allegations. While law enforcement frequently takes one person into custody in the interest of protecting an alleged victim, actually convicting the alleged offender of the crime can be far more difficult.
Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Were you or your loved one recently arrested for alleged domestic assault in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, or a surrounding area of Collin County? You should not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will work tirelessly to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can discuss your rights when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Domestic Assault Charges in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a person commits domestic assault by doing any of the following to a family or household members or person with whom the alleged offender has or had a dating relationship:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender’s spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury, including the alleged offender’s spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Domestic assault is a Class C misdemeanor if the alleged offender threatens bodily injury or threatens to cause offensive physical contact. It is a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender causes bodily injury to an alleged victim.
Domestic assault becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offender causes bodily injury to an alleged victim and they have previously been convicted of a violent offense against the alleged victim. It is also a third-degree felony if the alleged offender strangles the alleged victim or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the neck or throat or by blocking their nose or mouth.
Domestic assault is a second-degree felony if the alleged offender strangles their spouse, household member, or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the neck or throat or by blocking their nose or mouth, and they have a history of engaging in family violence. A person can also be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit an assault offense against a family or household member or person with a dating relationship if they cause serious bodily injury to the alleged victim or use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the domestic assault.
Aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony but can become a first-degree felony if the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the offense or causes serious bodily injury to the alleged victim. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46), serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Collin County Domestic Assault Penalties
The possible consequences of a domestic assault conviction will depend on the grade of your alleged offense. Statutory maximums in Texas are as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
The court may also order the alleged offender to pay restitution to the victim for any economic losses incurred as a result of the assault. This could include the cost of medical treatment, therapy, property damage, lost wages, and so on.
In some cases, the court may order the alleged offender to serve community supervision, which is a form of probation. This means that the alleged offender will be allowed to remain in the community but will be subject to certain restrictions, such as completing domestic violence counseling, paying restitution, and avoiding contact with the victim.
If the alleged offender is a first-time offender, the court may grant deferred adjudication, which means that the alleged offender will not be sentenced immediately. Instead, the alleged offender will be placed on probation and will have to complete certain requirements, such as attending domestic violence counseling, paying restitution, and avoiding contact with the victim. If the alleged offender successfully completes probation, the charges will be dismissed.
In addition to the above penalties, the alleged offender may also be required to pay surcharges, which are additional fees that are assessed on top of the fine. These surcharges may be used to fund domestic violence prevention programs or other related services.
A conviction for domestic assault can also have a number of non-judicial consequences, such as the loss of the right to own or possess a firearm, ineligibility for certain types of employment or housing, difficulty obtaining a loan or other forms of credit, and difficulty obtaining a visa or other immigration benefits. If you have been charged with domestic assault, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy.
Domestic Assault Defenses in Plano
In many cases, alleged offenders may have been acting in self-defense or even defense of others. It can be more difficult to convict people who can present arguments that their actions were only in defense of themselves or other people.
When domestic assault charges are the result only of an alleged victim’s claims without any real evidence to support the allegations, then you will certainly want to be working with an experienced attorney. The lawyer may be able to find flaws in the testimony that reveal when allegations are false and help people determine the best defenses against family violence charges.
Plano Domestic Assault Resources
A Guide to the Texas Criminal Legal System for Family Violence Victims — Texas Law Help is a joint effort of legal aid, courts, and nonprofit organizations throughout Texas. Visit this website to learn more about what constitutes family violence. Also, learn what to do when family violence occurs.
Family Violence | Texas DPS — View Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) statistics relating to family violence for 2017. Assaults accounted for 96.9 percent of family violence offenses, and 74.8 percent of the cases were simple assaults. Another 14.4 percent were aggravated assault and 7.4 percent stemmed from intimidation.
Texas Council on Family Violence | Family Violence Support & Prevention — The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. Research has consistently shown that only 10-25 percent of survivors of family violence will ever access services. TCFV is working to change this by raising awareness about family violence and its impact on survivors, and by advocating for policies and programs that support survivors. Every legislative session, TCFV works to secure full funding for family violence services and craft public policy measures that enhance survivor safety in Texas. TCFV’s advocacy has resulted in significant gains for survivors, including increased funding for family violence shelters and programs, expansion of the definition of family violence to include same-sex partners, mandatory arrest for domestic violence, and enhanced penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence. TCFV publishes an annual report that includes victim narratives, data analysis, and risk factors of intimate partner fatalities. The report provides valuable insights into the nature of intimate partner violence and the challenges survivors face. In 2018, TCFV expanded its review of intimate partner fatalities to include men killed by female partners and men and women killed by same-sex partners. This was done to broaden the understanding of intimate partner violence and to ensure that all survivors are represented. TCFV works with over 100 programs and partners across Texas to end family violence. These programs provide a variety of services to survivors, including shelter, counseling, legal assistance, economic assistance, and support groups. TCFV stands strong with over 100 programs and partners working to end family violence. TCFV is committed to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence for all survivors.
Who are the Victims of Family Violence? — This Texas Attorney General website discusses how family violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that can include physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and/or psychological abuse. It can occur in any type of relationship, but it most commonly occurs between partners in an intimate relationship. It states that family violence is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Anyone can be a victim of family violence, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. However, women are more likely to be victims of family violence than men. In fact, women are 3 times more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner. The effects of family violence can be far-reaching and devastating. Victims of family violence may experience physical injuries, emotional trauma, financial problems, and difficulty in relationships. In some cases, family violence can even lead to death. The OAG offers a variety of services to victims of family violence, including Crime Victims’ Compensation, as the OAG’s Crime Victims’ Compensation program provides financial assistance to victims of crime to help them pay for expenses such as medical bills, counseling, and lost wages. The Address Confidentiality Program helps victims of family violence keep their home address confidential. This can help to protect victims from their abuser. The Statewide Automated Victim Notification System (SAVNS) is a free service that provides victims of crime with information about their offender’s release from jail, upcoming court dates, and other important information. Victims of family violence can use a Pseudonym Form to request that their name be removed from public records related to the crime. This can help to protect the victim’s privacy. The OAG’s Child Support Division can help victims of family violence obtain child support payments from their abuser. In addition to the services offered by the OAG, there are a number of other organizations that provide assistance to victims of family violence. These organizations can provide victims with counseling, support groups, legal assistance, and other resources. If you are a victim of family violence, please know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you. Please reach out to a trusted friend or family member, or call a domestic violence hotline.
Find A Collin County Attorney to Fight Domestic Assault Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged domestic assault in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, or a surrounding area of Collin County, do not delay in getting yourself legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is ready to serve.
Our firm understands the complicated situations that can lead to these types of charges and can work to ensure you receive the most favorable possible outcome. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.