If you’ve been accused of domestic violence in Houston, TX, you need to take it seriously. Even if you’re sure you’re innocent, you need to contact a Houston criminal defense attorney as soon as possible and follow their advice. Depending on the specific nature of the charge, the penalties can be harsh so you need to be careful. In this article, we’ll look at the different types of domestic violence crimes and the penalties which you can face.
Things Houston Criminal Lawyers Explain to Clients
Texas recognizes three types of domestic violence: continuous violence against the family, aggravated domestic assault, and domestic assault.
Domestic assault refers to:
- Causing bodily injury to an individual knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly
- Threatening another person with imminent injury
- Initiating physical contact with someone who you know or should know would find it offensive or provocative
Aggravated domestic assault involves:
- Causing serious bodily harm to an individual intentionally, knowingly or recklessly
- Using or displaying a deadly weapon while committing any type of assault
Aggravated domestic assault is usually a second-degree felony. However, if you commit the offense with a deadly weapon and cause serious bodily injury, it is a first-degree felony.
You can be charged with continuous violence against the family if you commit two domestic assaults in 12 months. You can be convicted even of this offense even you weren’t arrested or convicted of the previous assaults. Continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony.
Ask A Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston: When is An Act Considered Domestic Violence?
Many people think domestic violence can only occur between spouses or intimate partners. However, that is not the case. The victim can be a family member, household member or someone you dated in the past. They may be:
- a current or former spouse
- the offspring of a current or former spouse
- a person with whom you have a child or children
- your foster child or foster parent
- your relative by blood, marriage, or adoption
- a person you live with
An act of domestic violence can involve physical actions like punching, kicking, hitting or rape. It can also involve emotional abuse, economic abuse or threats of serious bodily harm. Kidnapping and unlawful confinement can also be considered domestic violence.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Outlined by a Houston Criminal Attorney
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you. If you get convicted, you face jail time, loss of the right bear arms and a permanent stain on your record. The specific penalty depends on whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a 12-month jail sentence and/or a fine of up to $4,000. A third-degree felony is punished by a prison sentence of two to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000. If a court convicts you of a second-degree felony, you can spend up to 20 years in prison. You will also face a maximum fine of $10,000. For a first-degree felony, your prison time will range between five and 99 years and the same financial penalty applies.
In addition to these penalties, you may have to undergo counseling and community service. You may also lose your job and your education prospects as well as personal relationships.
Domestic violence charges threaten familial relationships even if they are unfounded. You may be falsely accused of violence during a bitter custody battle or a contentious divorce. Since some domestic violence charges are felonies, you can face the court even if your accuser drops the charges. This is because the district attorney’s office can still go on to try the case.
Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Eddington & Worley Today!
There can be no doubt that domestic violence allegations are serious. You shouldn’t try to fight them on your own. Even if you feel strongly that you are innocent, things can still go against you. The only way to improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome is to hire a skilled, knowledgeable lawyer. You need someone on your side who knows the law.
Our attorneys at Eddington & Worley will take all the facts of your case into consideration and come up with the appropriate defense. We will do everything we can to keep you out of jail. If you’re innocent, you shouldn’t have to do time for something you didn’t do. If you made a mistake, we’ll work to ensure you still get the best possible outcome. All you need to do is call us and schedule a consultation to get some insight into your case.