A domestic assault refers to an assault crime that is committed against a family or household member or person with whom the alleged offender has or had a dating relationship. Domestic assault charges are some of the most common results of many domestic violence calls that police respond to because even minor infractions can be deemed assault offenses in Texas.
The result is that alleged victims can claim to have suffered bodily injury for minor pushes or shoves and some people maybe arrested for completely fabricated allegations. While law enforcement frequently takes one person into custody in the interest of protecting an alleged victim, actually convicting the alleged offender of the crime can be far more difficult.
Were you or your loved one recently arrested for alleged domestic assault in Plano? You should not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will work tirelessly to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can discuss your rights when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a person commits domestic assault by doing any of the following to a family or household members or person with whom the alleged offender has or had a dating relationship:
● intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender's spouse;
● intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury, including the alleged offender's spouse; or
● intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Domestic assault is a Class C misdemeanor if the alleged offender threatens bodily injury or threatens to cause offensive physical contact. It is a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender causes bodily injury to an alleged victim.
Domestic assault becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offender causes bodily injury to an alleged victim and they have previously been convicted of a violent offense against the alleged victim. It is also a third-degree felony if the alleged offender strangles the alleged victim or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the neck or throat or by blocking their nose or mouth.
Domestic assault is a second degree felony if the alleged offender strangles their spouse, household member or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the neck or throat or by blocking their nose or mouth, and they have a history of engaging in family violence. A person can also be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit an assault offense against a family or household member or person with a dating relationship if they cause serious bodily injury to the alleged victim or use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the domestic assault.
Aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony but can become a first-degree felony if the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the offense or causes serious bodily injury to the alleged victim. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46), serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
The possible consequences of a domestic assault conviction will depend on the grade of your alleged offense. Statutory maximums in Texas are as follows:
● Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500
● Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
● Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
In many cases, alleged offenders may have been acting in self-defense or even defense of others. It can be more difficult to convict people who can present arguments that their actions were only in defense of themselves or other people.
When domestic assault charges are the result only of an alleged victim’s claims without any real evidence to support the allegations, then you will certainly want to be working with an experienced attorney. The lawyer may be able to find flaws in the testimony that reveal when allegations are false.
A Guide to the Texas Criminal Legal System for Family Violence Victims — Texas Law Help is a joint effort of legal aid,courts, and nonprofit organizations throughout Texas. Visit this website to learn more about what constitutes family violence. Also learn what to do when family violence occurs.
Family Violence | Texas DPS — View Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) statistics relating to family violence for 2017. Assaults accounted for 96.9 percent of family violence offenses, and 74.8 percent of the cases were simple assault. Another 14.4 percent were aggravated assault and 7.4 percent stemmed from intimidation.
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged domestic assault in Plano or a surrounding area of Collin County, do not delay in getting yourself legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is ready to serve.
Our firm understands the complicated situations that can lead to these types of charges and can work to ensure you receive the most favorable possible outcome. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.