The punishments for domestic violence are serious, as are the social consequences associated with being convicted of this crime. If you find yourself being charged with this crime, acting quickly is crucial to your defense and your future.
In Texas, domestic violence is considered the intentional, knowing, or reckless action resulting in the bodily injury of another person or potential injury. In some cases, you might not inflict pain or injury on somebody else but rather give somebody the impression that you are.
This guide will answer some of the most common questions about domestic violence issues. If you are charged with this crime, you need to have a solid understanding of the laws so that you can make good decisions for your future.
Who Can File a Domestic Violence Complaint?
Typically, domestic violence is thought to be committed against spouses and romantic partners. On the other hand, you can also be charged with domestic violence based on the allegations of any individual related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Victims of domestic violence could also be children, parents, and other family members.
Domestic violence can also be committed against an individual sharing a residence with you. This could include a friend who is also a roommate or a live-in nanny.
What Offenses Count as Domestic Violence?
Texas domestic violence cases are often the result of a physical altercation between two family members. Specific offenses could range from criminal threats to kidnapping, encompassing a variety of physical and threatening acts in between.
Physical domestic violence may include hitting, punching, kicking, child abuse, and sexual abuse. Threats of physical violence are also encompassed in this legal matter, even if they do not include physical action.
When domestic assault involves a deadly weapon, it is considered aggravated domestic assault, which is a first-degree felony. Deadly weapons include firearms, knives, baseball bats, and even rope. In some cases, vehicles are also considered deadly weapons.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Texas?
Texas considers many domestic violence charges to be Class C misdemeanors. The punishment for this misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a relatively small fine.
In some cases, you may find yourself slapped with a first-degree felony, which can lead to life in prison on top of a serious fine. This more serious offense could be based on prior convictions, the relationship between the accused and the victim, and the use of force, suffocation, and/or strangulation.
Depending on your charges, the judge may also order you to undergo violence counseling or community service. Not to mention that your criminal history can follow you around, even influencing what kinds of jobs you can have. And depending on the type of offense you are charged with, you could also find yourself losing the right to own a firearm.
How Can You Defend Yourself Against Domestic Violence Allegations?
When you enter the courtroom, the prosecutor's aim is to demonstrate to a jury that you acted with intention or knowledge, possibly leading to bodily injury. The prosecutor must prove that this is true beyond a reasonable doubt.
You may be able to argue that the domestic violence was unintentional or that you committed an action without knowledge. In some cases, an attorney will argue that the offense did not occur, and perhaps that the victim is mistaken about the events or that he or she created the story. You may also be able to use a self-defense argument in the courtroom.
If you’re facing criminal charges, protect yourself in the courtroom with a good attorney. Raymond Martinez, Attorney at Law, is here to help you by providing you with solid representation.