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Continuous Family Violence

Domestic assault in the state of Texas is normally charged as a misdemeanor. However, you could face a felony instead depending on the frequency you’ve committed the crime. If you have a history of domestic assault, then the judge may charge you instead with continuous violence against the family. The lightest charge a person can receive for committing continuous family violence is a third-degree felony, which can result in up to 10 years in prison.

The penalties for continuous family violence don’t stop after you’ve served your sentence either. Often released offenders have issues finding employment, housing or the ability to take out a loan because they have a violent criminal history related to domestic violence. Anyone can pull up your criminal history with a simple background check and you won’t be eligible to seal or expunge your criminal record.

For these reasons, we urge you to gain experienced and skilled legal representation as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with continuous family violence.

Austin Continuous Family Violence Attorney in Texas

Family matters can be incredibly complicated and hard to understand from a third-party perspective. When law enforcement gets involved, the whole situation can escalate quickly and all of a sudden you find yourself in handcuffs. Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett understands there are two sides to every story, which is why he wants to do everything in his power to fight your charges.

Get in contact with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett to get in touch with experienced Austin domestic violence defense attorney Kevin Bennett. He has represented people charged with all types of family violence including child abuse, domestic assault, and continuous violence against the family. He understands how these cases often involve testimony and the importance of cross-examining witnesses to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. With his knowledge and skills, you can enter the courtroom confident you have the best possible defense for your case.

Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett now at (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area including Lago Vista, Bee Cave, Pflugerville, Jonestown, Manor and Lakeway.

Overview of Continuous Family Violence in TX

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What is Continuous Violence Against the Family in Texas?

With the rising levels of domestic violence, the state of Texas implemented laws to deter repeat offenders. The legislation established that if a person engages in domestic assault two or more times in one year, then their charges could be reclassified to continuous violence against the family. What many don’t anticipate is that the jury doesn’t have to unanimously agree on the specifics of your assault or the date of the assault to convict you of continuous family violence.

All the jury needs to convict is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed domestic assault twice or more within 12 months. In addition, the prior assault convictions don’t have to be directed towards one singular family or household member. Committing domestic assault on multiple members of the family can also result in continuous violence charges.

Continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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What’s the Punishment for Domestic Assault in Texas?

To be charged with continuous violence against the family, you must first have multiple prior domestic assault convictions. The crime of domestic assault can be found under the Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, which states a person is guilty of domestic assault if they committed any of the following actions:

  • Intentionally inflicted bodily harm to a family or household member;
  • Made physical contact with a family or household member knowing it would be considered offensive or provocative; or
  • Threatened a family or household member with imminent bodily injury

The state of Texas has a specific definition for the term “family member,” which can be found under the Family Code Section 71.004. Under Texas law, a “family member” is any person related to you by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (related by marriage). Some examples of family members defined under Texas law include parents of the same child, foster children or foster parents.

An “household member” is any person you have shared a household with. You don’t need blood or marriage ties for a person to be considered a household member, just simply share the same living unit. It’s important to note that people who have moved out since the offense are still considered members of the household.

Domestic assault isn’t only reserved for family or household members but extends to dating relationships as well. The Texas Family Code states two people are considered in a dating relationship if they have or had a continuing romantic relationship. The court determines if a relationship is romantic by its length, the nature of the relationship, the type of interactions the couple had, and the number of interactions they’ve had since they met.

Domestic assault without aggravating factors is a class C misdemeanor, which can lead to a $500 fine. If bodily injury was caused, then the crime will be reclassified to a class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty of a class A misdemeanor include up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Continuous Violence Against the Family?

Before entering the courtroom, it’s important you understand the statute of limitations for your crime. It serves as a deadline for prosecutors for when they can file formal charges against a person for a certain crime. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to maintain the integrity of evidence and eyewitness statements associated with the case.

The state of Texas determines a crime’s statute of limitations based on its offense classification. A misdemeanor crime like domestic assault has a statute of limitations of up to two years. Felony charges, however, like continuous violence against the family has an extended statute of limitations of three years.

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Additional Resources

Benchbook for Family Violence – Visit the official website of Texas Courts to gain access to the Texas Family Violence Benchbook, which serves as a reference for judges and other legal professionals. Access the document to learn more what a protective orders is, types of domestic violence offenses, and child custody or support divisions.

Texas Family Violence Statistics– Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to read their statistics on family violence in the state of Texas. Access the document to learn more about domestic violence data in Texas collected by the Department of Public Safety including statistics for domestic assault and continuous family violence.

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Domestic Violence Attorney for Continuous Violence in Austin, TX

If you or someone you know has been charged with continuous violence against the family, we urge you to contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Domestic violence lawyer Kevin Bennett understands the complicated matter that is family and wants to represent your side of the story. He has defended numerous people accused of all types of domestic violence crimes including repeat offenders who are charged with continuous family violence. With his skills and dedication, Austin domestic violence attorney can fight off your allegations and protect your rights.

Set up your first consultation with Kevin Bennett by calling The Law Office of Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Pflugerville, Lakeway, Austin, Manor, Jonestown, Rollingwood and Lago Vista.

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