Assault & Family Violence Lawyer in Austin, Georgetown, Temple TX
A family violence allegation in an assault charge increases the seriousness of an assault charge. The punishments for assault family violence in Texas are no joke, and it’s important to have a defense attorney that will provide you with an outstanding defense.
The Law Office of Eric Harron is passionate about defending against charges of assault family violence in Texas, so I want to explain more about what assault is and how I can help defend you.
What Is Assault in Texas?
An assault is any time a person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.” Assault is not just violence and injury; it also includes “intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury” and “intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.”
What Is Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Aggravated assault is an escalated charge of assault. It follows the same requirements for assault, but has additional elements.
For an assault to be identified as aggravated assault, the person “causes serious bodily injury” or “uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.”
What is Family Violence in Texas?
Family violence is “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 the reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.”
That means that family violence includes both physical violence and the threat of physical violence against a family member or someone you are living with.
What Are the Punishments for Assault Family Violence in Texas?
Assault family violence in Texas is an enhanceable offense. This means a first offense of assault family violence is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries with it a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a sentence of up to 1 year in county jail, as well as other consequences like being permanently banned from owning a firearm.
It also means that any subsequent conviction is charged as a felony. A felony charge carries with it higher fines, lengthy probation, prison time, and can negatively affect job opportunities.
Aggravated assault is always considered at least a second-degree felony. However, if the victim of aggravated assault is a family member, the charge is enhanced to a first-degree felony.
Anyone you are related to or have lived with is considered a family member. For the purposes of this offense, not only are spouses and live-in girlfriends/boyfriends included as family members, but current and former roommates are as well. So, it’s possible to be charged with assault family violence in Texas for fighting with your roommate.
How Do I Handle Assault Family Violence Cases?
Assault cases vary significantly from case to case in terms of how I handle them. The one thing they have in common is that the state takes these types of cases extremely seriously. This is especially true given the current state of the Me Too Movement and our political climate. I will need to understand the specifics of your case to try to find a pathway to a dismissal or a not guilty verdict.
With the experience I have as a defense attorney, I always start with a high-level analysis that involves looking at the dynamic of the relationship between the individuals, finding out who any witnesses are, and gathering any other relevant facts. Oftentimes alcohol and drugs are a contributing factor that leads to an assault family violence charge, which will need to be taken into account. Additionally, victim culpability and criminal history may play a significant part.
After gathering these facts, we perform a more detailed investigation. During this stage, cracks in the state’s case against my client will often start to surface. It is at this point that I carefully craft a strategy according to the given facts of the case and the county you have been charged in.
I invite you to call me to set up a free consultation to discuss how best to handle your specific case.
Here are a few of my recent verdicts where I defended my clients against charges of assault and family violence.
State vs. D.I.
My client was charged with Assault with Injury. The assault happened in a bar with numerous witnesses who testified at trial. The victim had approximately $30,000 in medical expenses.
Result: Not guilty jury verdict
State v. S.T.
My client was charged with felony assault family violence with impediment of the airway (strangulation). My client was in the victim’s car, tried to take their cell phone, struck them multiple times, and grabbed their throat to the point the victim couldn’t breathe. There were third-party witnesses.
Result: Case dismissed
State vs. N.U.
My client was charged with misdemeanor assault family violence. They were arrested for assaulting a boyfriend in front of his family. Our investigation revealed that the boyfriend and his family had manufactured the allegations in an attempt to gain legal residence in the United States.
Result: Case dismissed
State vs. K.B.
My client was charged with misdemeanor assault family violence. After a significant argument, the client punched his wife in the face. After the police arrived, the client admitted to punching his wife.
Result: Case refiled to lower charge which was ultimately dismissed