Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member in Texas
The single most common assault charge prosecuted in Travis County and throughout Texas is assault causing bodily injury to a family member. Frequently, assault family violence arrests occur after police officers respond to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance. Once the police arrive, they will likely separate and talk to each person and then make an arrest based on whose story they believe or what the evidence indicates. Unfortunately, sometimes, the person arrested is actually the victim and not the aggressor. Other times, a police officer may arrest someone and take them to jail so as to separate the parties to prevent any further escalation.
Definition of Family Violence in Texas
The Texas Family Code (Section 41.004) defines family violence as an act by a member of a family or household against another member that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm.
Common Charges in Texas Family Violence Cases
- Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member
- Domestic Assault
- Violation of a Protective Order
- Terroristic Threat
- Assault by Strangulation/Choking
- Interference with Emergency Telephone Call
Definition of Family Member in Texas
Domestic violence and Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member cases in Texas typically involve what many people consider “traditional” family members. However, under Texas law, a family member may also include former spouses, siblings, domestic partners, roommates, and present/former boyfriends/girlfriends.
Examples of Family/Household Members
- Husband or wife
- Ex-husband or ex-wife
- Mother or father of a person’s child
- a foster child or foster parent of the offender
- a family member of the offender by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Roommate, and
- a person with whom the offender has or had an ongoing dating or romantic relationship.
Penalties for Domestic Assault or Assault Family Violence
The penalties for assault family violence under Texas law are very serious and can include jail time, fines, probation, and a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your permanent criminal record. Assault causing bodily injury to a family member are usually classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. However, depending on various factors, including whether or not a defendant has a prior conviction for family violence, the charge could be classified as a felony.
Domestic violence crimes are punishable in Texas as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor – up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000
- Third Degree Felony – from 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Second Degree Felony – from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and
- First Degree Felony – from 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Defense to Assault Charges in Texas
There are many defense strategies or defenses to assault charges that are recognized under Texas law. A good Austin assault attorney will be knowledgeable of Texas assault laws and will be able to examine the facts in each case to see if any defense may apply.
Austin Assault Attorney
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents those accused of domestic violence and assault causing bodily injury to a family member, both in misdemeanor and felony cases. Mr. Bennett is also able to help expunge and seal criminal records, when possible.
If you have been charged with assault or assault causing bodily injury to a family member in Austin or Travis County, Texas and are confused or unsure how to proceed, please call Austin Assault Attorney Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. You may also contact us through email.