Domestic violence charges are taken extremely seriously in Fort Worth. In fact, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office created a special unit specifically to prosecute these types of cases. That’s why it is vital to talk with a Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing a domestic violence charge.
In addition to jail time and fines, people convicted of domestic violence will be left with a permanent record that could negatively impact the rest of their life and their reputation. Further, an assault of a woman by a man is considered a crime of moral turpitude.
Our criminal attorneys have extensive experience defending domestic violence cases and will work to resolve your case in the most favorable way possible. Family violence cases can be resolved in a number of ways, including a dismissal, acquittal, diversion, deferred adjudication, probation or jail time. Call us today for a free consultation.
What are the Domestic Violence Charges in Texas?
Texas law outlines three different types of domestic violence charges:
- domestic assault, also called assault bodily injury against a family member (ABI-FM);
- aggravated domestic assault, and
- continuous family violence,
Domestic assault (non-aggravated), which is also referred to as assault bodily injury of a family member (ABI-FM), involves the assault of a present or former dating partner, someone in the accused’s household, or someone in the family. The person must have intentionally or knowingly injured someone, engaged in objectionable physical contact with someone, or placed someone in threat of impending injury for the behavior to constitute assault. The threshold for an “assault” in Texas is simply that the contact caused pain.
Aggravated domestic assault of a family member is the aggravated assault of an individual who the alleged offender is currently dating or previously dated, someone in their family, or their spouse. An aggravated assault on its own would be a second degree felony. Add the family member/household member enhancement on top and you’re suddenly looking at a first degree felony and up to life in prison for a first-time offense.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.02, aggravated assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing someone to suffer serious bodily injury or engaging in the assault or threatening to while displaying or using a deadly weapon.
Continuous or ongoing family violence charges may be filed if the alleged offender is believed to have engaged in two domestic assaults within one year. Note that someone may be convicted for ongoing family violence, regardless of whether they were arrested or convicted for the two prior alleged instances of wrongdoing. In other words, police can come out and talk to an alleged domestic violence victim and if the victim says the abuse has occurred before, the accused can be arrested for and charged with a felony. Hiring a Fort Worth attorney experienced in domestic violence is crucial if you are accused of ongoing or continuous family violence.
What are the Consequences for a Domestic Violence Conviction?
- Domestic assault or ABI-FM is generally class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The charge can be enhanced to a third-degree felony if the offender is accused of strangulation (choking) or has been convicted of domestic assault in the past.
- Aggravated domestic assault is generally a second-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The charge can be elevated first-degree felony penalties if a deadly weapon and grave injuries are involved. A first-degree felony is punishable by five year to up to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Continuous family violence is a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
A seasoned attorney in Fort Worth can evaluate the allegations and help you understand the possible punishments and consequences associated with a domestic violence conviction.
Contact an Experienced Fort Worth Domestic Violence Attorney
Regardless of which category of domestic violence charges you face, a conviction could have long-lasting consequences on your freedom, finances, and personal life. In addition to jail time and a criminal record, a domestic violence conviction will prohibit you from owning or possessing a firearm in the future. A highly experienced and accomplished Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer at Varghese Summersett PLLC will thoroughly evaluate the allegations and explore all possible defenses to reach the best possible outcome. Call our office today to schedule a Phone or Virtual Consultation