In many cases, family violence charges arise from a simple disagreement or argument that grows out of hand. family violence charges are often complex because they combine elements of assault under Texas law, as well as protective orders involving violent incidents between family and household members. As the consequences of a family violence charge can be severe, you may wish to speak with a Frisco family violence lawyer after being accused of or arrested on charges of family violence.
As law enforcement authorities seek to curb the incidence of family violence, arrests are often mandatory; alleged victims are unable to drop the charges, even if they have a change of heart. Mandatory arrest policies have resulted in more family violence convictions, which can be highly damaging to the career, reputation, and future educational and job opportunities of those charged. If you or a family member is facing family violence charges, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated criminal defense lawyer for advice and guidance.
The Texas legislature has not established a criminal offense that is specific to family violence. Instead, various criminal offenses can constitute family violence, depending on the circumstances. The most common crime that occurs in family violence situations is assault, but other crimes may qualify as family violence offenses as well, such as sexual assault, kidnapping, and terroristic threats.
The common factor in family violence offenses is the existence of specific family or household member relationships between the parties. Texas Family Code § 71.003 defines a wide range of individuals to qualify as family or household members. Specifically, anyone related by blood, adoption, or marriage, as well as former spouses and those individuals who share a child, are family members.
Likewise, household members may simply be those who reside together in a single location. Under Texas Family Code § 71.005, there is no requirement that household members also be family members, so household members may include roommates as well as those individuals who are cohabitating while in an intimate relationship.
Tex. Pen. Code § 22.01 defines assault as engaging in actions that cause physical injuries to others, making threats of physical harm to others, or having offensive physical contact with others, even if it does not result in physical injuries. As a result, various types of conduct can fall within the category of assault, which generally is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law.
Aggravated assault under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.02 can also constitute family violence when carried out against family or household members. Aggravated assault refers to more extreme situations, such as those in which a person causes serious bodily injury or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault against family or household members can be a first or second-degree felony, depending on the situation.
Additionally, if persons have allegedly committed assault against a family or household member on at least two separate occasions within 12 months, the offense is defined as “continuous violence against the family,” a third-degree felony offense under Tex. Pen. Code § 25.11. As felony convictions can result in severe and life-altering sanctions, consulting a family violence lawyer in Frisco in this situation may be beneficial.
Family violence incidents often occur between usually law-abiding citizens when a dispute becomes heated or out of control. Nonetheless, the repercussions of a family violence conviction, including protective orders, loss of the ability to possess firearms, and implications for any family law proceedings, can be harsh. A Frisco family violence lawyer may be able to advise you of the potential consequences of the criminal charges and work toward the best resolution possible in your case. Don’t trust your future to just anybody. Contact the Wilder Law Firm and let us fight for you.