Domestic issues can become volatile situations in a short amount of time. During what is likely an emotional moment, partners, spouses, parents or children can act in a completely irrational manner and physically or emotional injure those close to them. Sometimes these cases are fixed without the help of the authorities, but many times, law enforcement will be called to investigate. This call can come from the victim or a neighbor, depending on the situation. Either way, if an officer is called to the house, there is a strong possibility that the individual accused of domestic violence will be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.
This can lead to a large amount of negative ramifications, including adverse effects to your professional, social and financial well being. Not only will you have the stigma that comes with a domestic violence allegation, you may also be subject to extensive jail terms and costly fines.
With all that there is to lose, having legal representation at your side that can objectively handle your case in a professional and productive manner is something that should be strongly considered. Legal counsel will help guide you through what is a very complicated and difficult process, while taking care of every aspect of your case, allowing you to focus primarily on moving forward with your life.
Houston Domestic Assault Attorney
If you have been charged with a domestic assault offense in Houston, contact Horak Law. Matt Horak is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas domestic violence laws, including domestic assault offenses, and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you.
Domestic Assault under Texas Law
According to §71.004 of the Texas Penal Code, family violence is defined as: An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
An important thing to keep in mind when researching domestic violence in Texas law, is that the state does not differentiate between assault and battery. No matter what the case, prosecutors must prove at least one of the following to have a chance at convicting someone of domestic battery or assault:
- The defendant intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to the victim
- They intentionally or knowingly threatened the victim with bodily injury
- They intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with the victim when the defendant knew or should have reasonably believed that the victim would regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
This legal wording can specifically be found in 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code. If a weapon is used, or serious bodily injury occurs as a result of the assault, the charge will be upgraded to aggravated domestic assault, according to §22.02.
Penalties for Domestic Assault in Texas
Domestic assault or battery charges that result in bodily injury to their spouse can lead to a conviction for a class A misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or fines not more than $4,000.
Domestic assault or battery charges that arose from threats of bodily injury causing offensive physical contact can result in a conviction for a class C misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by a fine up to $500.
If the alleged offender commits the domestic assault against a family member and has previously been convicted of a violent offense against the family member, they can be charged with a felony of the third degree. This degree of felony can result in a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
If the alleged offender commits the offense by strangling their spouse or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of their spouse by applying pressure to the neck or throat or blocking their nose or mouth, they can be charged with a felony of the third degree. This offense is punishable by a sentence ranging from two to ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
If the alleged offender commits the offense by strangling their spouse or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of their spouse by applying pressure to the neck or throat or blocking their nose or mouth, and they have previously been convicted of a violent offense against the person, they can be charged with a felony of the second degree. This offense is punishable by a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
A conviction for aggravated domestic assault is a felony of the second degree and punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
If the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the domestic assault and causes serious body injury to their spouse, they can be charged with a felony of the first degree. A conviction for this degree of offense can result in five years to 99 years in prison and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Horak Law | Houston Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer
A domestic violence allegation is a politically charged topic, no matter what the actual events that transpired were. It is also a charge that is difficult to defend considering the weak evidence needed to convict. Even a threat can be considered assault, and you will be arrested if a call is made to the police.
Because of the fragile nature of the charge, it would be in your best interest to work with an aggressive Houston criminal defense attorney who is experienced and well informed when it comes to working with those accused of domestic violence. Matt Horak is one such attorney and can bring his commitment to protection your rights and his strict adherence to approaching the situation in a fact-based, calculated manner, to your aid during this difficult time.
If you are a resident of a city or town in Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Waller County or Brazoria County, and would like to schedule a confidential consultation with Horak Law, please call (713) 225-8000 today.