What Is Considered Continuous Family Violence in Texas?

You should note that the charge of “continuous family violence” (aka “Rachel’s Law”) is relatively new in Texas but carries severe and possibly life-changing penalties.

Also known as “Rachel’s Law,” in honor of a family violence victim, a Texas district attorney can pursue a charge of continuous violence against the family even if domestic violence incidents occurred in different Texas counties.

Essentially, the law means that you committed two or more domestic alleged assaults against any family members within the space of 1 year. Also, if the alleged assaults didn’t even lead to you being charged, the incidents themselves can be used to mount a continuous family violence charge against you.

This type of offense can occur if you “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another. The victim could be your spouse, sibling, child, or any other family member. The term “recklessly” was included intentionally and means that even if the injury was caused unintentionally, it still constitutes an assault on the family member.

Any blood relative involved could end up with you being charged with this law, but also other non-blood relatives could be involved, such as:

  • Parents of children without regard to any marriage.
  • Boyfriend, girlfriend, or any person in a dating relationship.
  • A former spouse.
  • Foster children or foster parents, etc.

It’s also vital to note that the same family member doesn’t have to be involved in the allegation. To sum up, as clearly as possible, any violence involving multiple incidents can be directed at different relatives (and others) in each incident and combined to add up to continuous violence against a family.

This charge (fully discussed in Texas Penal Code 25.11) can be legally complex, but you must never take it lightly as it carries severe penalties, including years or decades of jail time. If you ever feel you may be charged, you should obtain a complete case evaluation with an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable Plano criminal defense lawyer; your freedom may depend on it.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged with Continuous Family Violence?

First, you must be aware that you must take defensive legal action immediately. The Texas statutes consider crimes against family members differently than offenses against non-family members. This charge carries severe penalties; if numerous incidents are involved, it will usually get you a criminal charge.

A single-family violence charge usually carries significant criminal penalties. However, if you’re accused of family violence numerous times within a certain period, a “continuous family violence charge” will commonly be imposed. Any “continuous family violence” is considered a felony offense in Texas, imposing a long maximum prison sentence and other devastating and life-changing consequences.

With the gravity of your situation in mind, If you’re charged with continuous family violence, you must take immediate legal action. Any conviction for continuous family violence will threaten your freedom, rights, and future.

You mustn’t speak to the police, offer any information, or answer any of their questions without the advice and guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable Plano criminal defense lawyer present. Always stay silent if asked any questions concerning your alleged offense.

Due to the nature and legal complexity of a continuous violence charge, you must also retain a criminal defense lawyer with significant experience in domestic violence and continuous violence against the family charges and their legal defenses.

What Are Some Possible Punishments If I’m Convicted?

In Texas, the penalties you face for continuous violence against the family commonly start as a third-degree felony and go up from there. A third-degree felony is arguably less serious than a first-degree felony but remains a severe charge that commonly carries jail time. You can end up incarcerated between 2 and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In most cases, a domestic assault charge alone is a Class A misdemeanor and only if you have no previous convictions for domestic assault. However, even a class A misdemeanor may include up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

The severity of the punishments elucidates clearly that continuous violence against the family is considered a much more severe crime than simple domestic violence. Also, depending on the exact circumstances of your case can be raised from a third-degree felony to an even more severe charge with even more jail time.

What Are Some Defenses Against a Continuous Family Violence Charge?

Suppose you are facing continuous violence against the family in Texas. In that case, you must have the best criminal defense lawyer you can find to “get ahead” of the prosecution or even refute the charge itself.

One common defense against a continuous family violence charge is to claim that you acted out of self-defense. This argument is usually the most common defense against these charges.

However, claiming self-defense is doable but challenging. Your Plano criminal defense law team, versed in these matters, must prove that you were threatened with unlawful force or harm and responded only in self-defense.

Additionally, you must have had no rational means of escaping or retreating, and the force you utilized in defending yourself must have been proportional to the threat. If you overreacted, then your self-defense claim could be negated.

Also, depending on the specifics of your case, your skilled law team may be able to prove that the assault did not occur, that it was unintentional, a simple accident, or was done with a lack of knowledge.

One of the most important things to remember is that you must have a knowledgeable domestic assault and continuous violence against the family defense lawyer that will tirelessly and diligently protect your legal rights and freedom.

I Could Be Charged With Continuous Family Violence in Texas; What Should I Do?

As stated, most all continuous violence against the family charges in Texas begin as a third-degree felony! This charge can give you years of prison and forever change your life.

Therefore, you must obtain a thorough, detail-oriented, experienced, and aggressive Plano criminal defense lawyer with the skills and winning history to fight for your rights and freedom as successfully as possible.

The Wilder Law Firm has obtained hundreds of acquittals, dismissals, and mitigation of charges for Texas clients charged with all forms of domestic violence charges. Call them immediately at (469) 457-4868 and get your defense moving forward ahead of the prosecution. Obtain a complete case evaluation, and help ensure that your rights and your freedom are intact.