Dallas Assault Family Violence Lawyer, Serving Dallas and Surrounding Areas
Family violence charges are taken very seriously in Dallas County. Prosecutors will often proceed with the case, even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to cooperate or tries to “drop the case.” In fact, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has a specialized division devoted to prosecuting these kinds of cases.
If you have been accused of domestic abuse or assault, it’s imperative to contact an experienced Dallas assault family violence lawyer. These charges are not just going to go away, even if the allegations are false. You need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for you every step of the way.
The goal of every Dallas family violence lawyer at Varghese Summersett is to keep our clients out of jail and avoid a conviction that would follow them for the rest of their lives. In this blog post and videos, our lawyers discuss the different domestic violence offenses in Texas and the possible penalties for each.
What constitutes assault family violence in Texas?
Under Texas law, family violence is defined as an assault or threat against a family member, household member, or dating partner. It’s important to emphasize that the abuse can be either physical or threatened. It does not have to result in actual bodily injury. The threat of violence is enough to constitute family violence.
Who is considered family member?
In Texas, the definition of “family member” is very broad in domestic violence cases. It includes not only spouses and ex-spouses but also children, foster children, parents, in-laws, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It also includes people who are currently or were previously in a dating relationship with the accused or with whom the accused lives, such as a roommate.
What are common assault family violence offenses in Texas?
Family violence cases can be charged and prosecuted a number of ways. Each case will depend on the facts and circumstances involved in the alleged offense. A skilled Dallas family violence lawyer can explain what you are charged with in-depth. The following are the most common family violence offenses in Texas:
- Assault by Contact/Threat – occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly threatens someone with imminent bodily injury or causes physical contact that he or she knows would be regarded as offensive or provocative contact, such as spitting on them or poking them in the chest. Assault by contact is a Class C misdemeanor.
- Assault Family Violence – occurs when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a family member. Assault family violence is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Continuous Family Violence – occurs when someone is found to have committed two or more acts of family violence within a 12-month period. Continuous family violence is a third degree felony.
- Assault of a Family Member with a Prior Conviction – occurs when someone commits an act of family violence and is found to have a prior family violence assault. It is not necessary that the person be convicted of assault family violence. Anyone placed on deferred adjudication for an assault family violence can be enhanced to this offense. Assault of a family member with a prior conviction is a third-degree felony.
- Assault by Strangulation (or “choking”) – occurs when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impedes the normal breathing or circulation of one’s blood by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or blocks the person’s nose or mouth.
- Assault by Strangulation with Prior Conviction – if a person has had a prior family violence assault and is charged with strangulation, he or she can be enhanced to second-degree felony.
- Aggravated Assault of a Family Member – occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury to a family member and uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault of a family member is a first-degree felony.
What is the punishment for assault family violence cases in Texas?
Family violence charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine to a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison. Here’s a look at the various classifications:
Class C Misdemeanor: Punishable by a maximum $500 fine.
- Assault by contact
- Assault by Threat
Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a maximum $4,000 fine.
- Assault Family Violence
Third Degree Felony: Punishable to 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Continuous Family Violence
- Assault of a Family Member with a Prior Conviction
- Assault by strangulation
Second Degree Felony: Punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Assault by Strangulation with a Prior Conviction.
First Degree Felony: Punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Aggravated Assault of a Family Member.
What are the collateral consequences of a Dallas assault family violence case?
In addition to disruption to your life and livelihood, a family violence conviction can result in the loss of your right to possess a firearm and vote. It can also negatively impact your immigration status or future application for citizenship.
If you have been charged with family violence, it is important to hire an experienced Dallas family violence lawyer to help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights and freedom. The consequences of a family violence conviction can be severe, so it is important to have an advocate on your side who will aggressively defend you.
What are possible defenses to a Dallas assault family violence case?
The experienced lawyers at Varghese Summersett understand the importance of keeping family violence offenses off an individual’s permanent record. A few strategies we have used that have resulted in favorable outcomes include:
- false accusation
- defense of others
- defense of property
- false accusation
- lack of intent
Speak to a Dallas assault family violence lawyer
An experienced Dallas family violence lawyer at our firm will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action. If you have been charged with assault family violence, contact the law firm of Varghese Summersett today for a free consultation 214-903-4000.