Assault Family Violence
Understanding Assault Family Violence Laws
Assault family violence is a serious offense that occurs within the confines of a family or household in Williamson County, Texas. The state of Texas has specific laws and penalties in place to address and combat this issue. If you are facing charges related to assault family violence in Williamson County, it is crucial to understand the legal framework surrounding these crimes and the potential consequences you may face.
What Constitutes Assault Family Violence?
Assault family violence, also known as domestic violence, encompasses various acts committed by one family or household member against another with the intent to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. Texas Penal Code § 71.004 (2022) provides a comprehensive definition of family violence in the state.
According to the statute, family or household members can face charges of family violence if they threaten another member, causing reasonable fear of imminent serious harm, bodily injury, or sexual assault. However, it is important to note that self-defense is a valid defense against family violence charges if the accused intended to cause bodily injury or physical harm in an act of self-defense.
In Texas, assault family violence charges can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the offender’s criminal history. It is critical to understand the potential penalties associated with each classification:
If it is your first conviction for domestic assault, you will face a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Domestic assault typically involves acts of violence against a family or household member, such as a spouse, romantic partner, sibling, or roommate.
Assault family violence charges can be elevated to felony level under specific circumstances:
- Aggravated Domestic Assault: When an assault involves serious bodily injury or the use/exhibition of a deadly weapon, it becomes a second-degree felony. If convicted, offenders may face imprisonment for up to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Continuous Violence Against the Family: Committing at least two domestic assaults against a family or household member within a 12-month period constitutes continuous violence against the family. This offense is a third-degree felony, carrying a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
It is essential to note that a family violence conviction in Texas is not eligible for expungement, meaning the conviction will remain on your criminal record indefinitely, even after completing your sentence.
Types of Offenses
Texas law recognizes various types of family violence offenses. Understanding these distinctions can help individuals comprehend the specific charges they may face:
Domestic Violence (Assault)
Domestic violence charges can arise even when violence is committed against a person other than a spouse or romantic partner. For instance, assaulting a roommate after a verbal dispute can be classified as domestic violence because the roommate is a member of the same household.
Aggravated Domestic Violence (Assault)
Aggravated domestic violence occurs when an assault involves serious bodily injury or the use/exhibition of a deadly weapon. This offense carries more severe penalties than simple domestic violence and is treated as a higher-degree felony.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
Continuous violence against the family refers to the commission of at least two domestic assaults against family or household members within a 12-month period. These assaults can be committed against different individuals and may include past charges that did not result in conviction.
Seeking Legal Assistance for Assault Family Violence Charges?
If you find yourself accused of assault family violence in Williamson County, it is crucial to seek immediate legal representation. Family violence charges are taken seriously by Texas courts, and a conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, even after completing your sentence. Therefore, consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential to protect your rights.