Assault Family Violence Attorney in Austin, Georgetown, and Temple, TX
An assault with injury family violence charge, usually shortened to “assault family violence,” 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 who will provide you with an energetic, smart, and professional defense.
The Law Office of Eric Harron is passionate about defending against charges of assault family violence in Texas. Here you can find out more about what is considered family violence, different types of charges related to family violence, and the potential sentences you could be facing.
What Is Assault Family Violence?
An assault family violence charge can be broken down into two parts: assault and legal qualifications of family members.
1. Family Member Qualifications
The first half of assault family violence is understanding who is classified as a family member in Texas law. Of course, a spouse, children, parents, and blood relatives are considered part of a family. But, others may also be included according to the law. Texas law considers a family member any person who is part of your “household,” which is any person living together in the same place, even if they are not directly or legally related to each other. Anyone who is living or who has previously lived with you, like a boyfriend, girlfriend, or even a roommate, can be considered a member of your household.
Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another
Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury
Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
If at least one of those conditions is met, the action is considered an assault. It is important to note that the victim doesn’t have to be attacked or injured for it to be considered assault. Even the perceived threat of physical harm can be enough for an assault charge.
What Is Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Aggravated assault is an escalated assault charge where there is serious bodily injury or a deadly weapon was used or displayed. An aggravated assault with family violence is a first degree felony. It follows the same requirements for an aggravated assault but has additional elements. For an assault to be identified as aggravated assault family violence, the actor must “cause serious bodily injury” and “use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.”
Potential Sentencing for a Family Violence Conviction
Depending on the severity of the assault and whether or not this is your first offense, a wide range of sentences can be issued. Simple assault with minor injury (a feeling of pain) is a Class A misdemeanor. However, when it is committed against a family member, it carries additional consequences.These include prohibition of firearm ownershiop and inability so seal probation records.
If you have been previously convicted of an assault charge or if you choke the victim, the charge is a third-degree felony.
Aggravated assault starts as a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony if committed against a member of your household.
A first-degree felony can be punished with a sentence of anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.
A second-degree felony can be punished with a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
A third-degree felony carries with it a prison sentence of 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
A Class A misdemeanor can be punished up to one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $4,000..
While assault cases vary significantly from case to case, the one thing they have in common is that Texas 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 the specifics of your case to try to find a pathway to best defend you.
With my experience as a family violence 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 contributing factors that lead to an assault family violence charge. This 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. At this point, I carefully craft a strategy according to the given facts of the case and the county in which you have been charged.
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 as a family violence attorney in Williamson County.
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