The Law In Texas On Assault Causes Bodily Injury Family Violence
Sec. 22.01. ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE.
A person commits an offense if the person: intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021, 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code, if: it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Section 20.03, 20.04, 21.11, or 25.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Section 71.0021, 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth
Police And Prosecutors Are Inclined To Believe The Alleged Victim
Officers make arrests based on probable cause, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. More importantly, officers primary duty is to protect peace and public safety. So, when they arrive at the scene of an alleged assault, they make an arrest to defuse the situation and then let the prosecutors sort it out. Even good police officers and prosecutors make a lot of bad assumptions.
Assault / Domestic Violence / Family Violence / Aggravated Assault
We often find that the someone who accuses another of domestic violence has some ulterior motive in making such allegations. Whether it be to gain an advantage in a divorce, a child custody matter, to increase child support payments, acquire the home in a divorce, or they are simply angry that their relationship is failing and they want to get even.
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Let James Luster Help You Work To Get Charges Dropped
James Luster is a Fort Worth Assault Family Violence Attorney with experienced as a prosecutor in the Tarrant County domestic violence unit. If your loved-one is facing an assault charge in which you are the victim, get James on the case. He can walk you through the steps to give you the best chance of getting the charges dropped or dismissed. Meeting with you should be the first thing a criminal defense lawyer wants to do.
James knows what the prosecutors are looking for. He worked as a prosecutor on hundreds of assault cases. As a prosecutor, he worked with abuse crisis centers to evaluate cases, and many times he had to make the decision to honor the request of victims to drop charges. Because of his experience handling the difficult decision whether to go forward with prosecution or dismiss the case, he understands the pressure on prosecutors in these kinds of cases. Meet with him, today.
What Is Injury To A Child Elderly Individual Or Disabled Individual
The severity of simple assault drastically increases if the victim is a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual because these individuals cannot always protect themselves. In Texas, this offense is taken seriously which is why a defendant found guilty of this offense could spend up to 99 years in prison.
Texas Penal Code § 22.04 states that a person commits this offense if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, causes a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual: serious bodily injury serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury or bodily injury.
In certain situations, parents and caretakers may be criminally charged with injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, by omission if they had a duty to act or had assumed care of the alleged victim.
For example, in , a severely malnourished, 12-year old child was found in Conroe, Texas. The child, weighing in at roughly 50 pounds, had been deprived of food by his mother and her boyfriend. The couple plead guilty to injury to a child by omission, a first-degree felony, and were each sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The punishment range for injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual varies from a state jail felony to a first-degree felony based on the intent of the alleged offender and the extent of injuries sustained by the alleged victim:
Texas Penal Code §22.04 defines:
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Assault Family Violence Impede Breath Or Circulation
- Also known as Assault Family Violence Strangulation
- Third-degree felony
- Conduct against someone defined by Texas Family Code
- Conduct causes bodily injury specifically due to impeding the normal breathing or circulations of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the persons throat or neck or by blocking the persons nose or mouth
- Assuming no enhancements apply
- Up to $10,000 fine 2 10 years prison or 2 10 years of probation
How To Prove Assault With No Witness
If they wont drop my case, how are they going to prove assault with no victim at court? What happens if the victim doesn’t show up at the trial for domestic violence? First, hoping the prosecution is not able to locate a witness is a very risky strategy. It is foolish to depend on any advice like this. The State can “pick up” your charges, because the State is prosecuting you. You are not being prosecuted by the alleged victim. So, if the victim does not show up then the State will usually ask for a “Continuance” to reschedule the trial date. In Texas, the State is entitled to one continuance of trial based on unavailability of a material witness . If the victim is subpoenaed and the victim does not show up for trial, then the court will send a sheriff’s deputy out to arrest the victim. This is called a “writ of attachment.” The court can hold the victim in jail or on bond until the trial is over. You are in a fight with the Government!
So, as long as the statements are “non-testimonial,” and the statements are an “Excited Utterance” or “For Purposes of Medical Treatment,” then the State may be able to get that evidence of domestic violence in front of the jury. The law related to the Sixth Amendment and Hearsay can be very complicated. Entire law school classes are taught on these topics. Consult a criminal defense attorney if you have an issue like this.
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What Is A Family Violence
The Texas Penal code refers to Texas Family Code to define family violence as seen below. If a person has previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for family violence, then the new accusation is a 3rd degree felony.Sec. 71.004. FAMILY VIOLENCE. Family violence means:
an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself
abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001, , , , , , , and , by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household or
dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.
Defenses To Family Violence Charges
If you are being charged with Assault Against a Family Member/Domestic Violence, you are likely facing some very unique challenges that you might not face with other criminal charges. These challenges include:
The prosecutor in the case must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, or the defendant must plead guilty for a conviction to occur. Since being convicted of Assault Against a Family Member has such far-reaching effects, those facing such charges need the assistance of an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer like former prosecutor, Nathaniel Pitoniak.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges, it may be shown that the person bringing charges is not a family member, household member, or dating partner, that the accuser acted out of anger, spite, or jealousy, or that the accused was simply defending himself or herself. Whatever the situation, attorney Nathaniel Pitoniak will work hard to build the best defense against the accusations of Assault Against a Family Member/Domestic Violence.
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Penalties For Assault In Texas
With a basic grasp of how the laws apply and the stages of the process, you can better understand the framework for punishment after being convicted of an assault charge. Each form of assault listed above has different punishments and ways they can be enhanced.
Number 1 and Number 2 are both Class C Misdemeanors which are punishable by a fine only in an amount up to $500. However, if the alleged victim is elderly or disabled the crime is enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor which if convicted you face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Number 3 is a Class A Misdemeanor in the absence of aggravating factors. However, the charge for assault with bodily injury can be even more serious under certain circumstances described in the statute.
If the assault causing bodily injury involves family violence, or in other words, involves a person who is a family or household member or someone in a current or previous dating/marital relationship a first-time offense is still a Class A Misdemeanor but there are collateral consequences such as not being able to ever own or possess a firearm in the future.
Assault causing bodily injury can be enhanced to a Third Degree Felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 if the assault is against:
What Is The Difference Between Simple Assault Aggravated Assault And Assault With A Deadly Weapon
Simple Assault is defined in Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code and requires either bodily injury, offensive contact or a threat of imminent harm. The punishment level of a Simple Assault charge varies from a Class C Misdemeanor to a Second Degree Felony.
Aggravated Assault, under Texas law, requires serious bodily injury or the use of a deadly weapon. The punishment level for Aggravated Assault is a felony of the second degree by default, but it can be enhanced to a felony of the first degree if the Aggravated Assault is a Family Violence Aggravated Assault involves a peace officer or security officer or witness in one of various ways or involves a motor vehicle in various ways. Learn more about the Aggravated Assault offense in Texas
Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a type of Aggravated Assault that is defined in Penal Code 22.02 as a simple assault but where the assailant also exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Assault offenses appear on the court docket as:
ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJ ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJURY FAMILY VIOLENCE ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJ DATE/FAMILY/HOUSE
Simple Assault is marked on the court docket as ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJURY or ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJ when the simple assault is alleged to have resulted in some kind of bodily injury to the victim. ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJURY FAMILY VIOLENCE is a Family Violence case. See the FAQ above to learn more about the different kinds of Assault Charges / Enhancements
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Oa Assault Family Violence
Our client was a doctor who had been married 40+ years. His wife suffered from long-standing mental health problems. When she had episodes she would become violent and abusive. My client had to call the police during one of these episodes but only wanted her to get help. When she realized she might be going to jail she falsely accused him of hitting her. The police told my client someone had to go to jail, him or her. Ever the loving, dutiful husband, my client chose to go to jail. We were able to convince the district attorney to reject the case completely.
Harassment By Persons In Certain Correctional Facilities Harassment Of Public Servant
§22.11 Tex Penal Code While imprisoned or confined
Punishment: 3rd Degree Felony
§22.11 Tex Penal Code While public servant lawfully discharging duty, in retaliation, or exercising official power
Punishment: 3rd Degree Felony
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What If I Was Wrongly Accused Of Family Violence
A family violence conviction carries heavy penalties, including an arrest record, prison sentence, no contact order, and the loss of certain firearm rights. If you believe you were wrongly accused of assault or family violence, our team will work tirelessly to find the truth and clear your name.
As a former federal prosecutor, criminal court judge, and U.S. Marine Corps officer, Patrick McLainknows what you are up against and what it takes to win a fight. If youre being accused of family violence, contact us online or at 238-9392 to schedule a consultation with our accomplished Dallas federal criminal defense lawyers.
What Are The Penalties For Continuous Violence Against The Family
A person in Texas can be convicted of a felony for continuous violence against the family by committing two or more domestic assaults in 12 months. No requirements exist that the previous domestic assaults resulted in arrests or convictions or were committed against the same victim. Continuous violence against the family constitutes a third-degree felony and carries penalties of 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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Is It Legal To Have A Fist Fight
In Texas, the law permits two individuals to engage in mutual combat. Under Texas Penal Code section 22.06, a person is engaged in mutual combat if the contact did not cause serious bodily injury or threaten to cause injury, or if the alleged victim took part despite knowing the risk because of their profession.
Therefore, if two people are in a fistfight that did not cause serious bodily injury, and if there was reasonable consent based on words or body language, a mutual combat defense could be used. However, if serious bodily injury occurred or the combat was unprovoked, it likely will not hold up as mutual combat.
How Long Do Domestic Violence Cases Last
The length of a domestic violence case depends on the severity of the violence as well as the caseload in your area. Cases can take anywhere from a few months to two years. For the best results, you should have an experienced defense lawyer handle your case.
At the law offices of Eric Harron, we are passionate about every case we take and have years of experience helping defend our clients. Contact us today to make sure you are treated fairly and get the defense you deserve.
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What Is Assault By Threat
Assault by Threat is the type of assault described in subsection of the definition of assault as described above. This offense is closely related to the offense of Terroristic Threat, but there are many more ways in which you can be charged with Terroristic Threat. In addition, Assault by Threat requires a specific intent to harm, and the harm must be imminent.
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.
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What Is Assault Bodily Injury
An Assault Bodily Injury charge stems from a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another individual. The critical element is bodily injury. In Texas, bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or impairment of physical condition. Any amount of pain, no matter how slight, is enough to legally constitute bodily injury. However, an alleged victim simply claiming discomfort will not be enough for an ABI charge.
Assault causing Bodily Injury is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas and is punishable by up to a year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
Will I Go To Jail For A Domestic Violence Charge
You may go to jail. Most cases with domestic violence allegations involve an arrest at the time the police receive a complaint. However, sometimes people are not arrested at the time of the complaint because they are not present or officers on the scene do not believe there is a need. If you were not arrested at the time of the complaint of domestic violence and a case is filed, a bond will be set, and a warrant for your arrest will be issued. Contact James Luster, to arrange a walk through at the Tarrant County Jail. This can reduce the time you spend in jail, save you money, and reduce stress and inconvenience. Speak with a us about jail release for an assault.
If you are worried that a warrant is out for your arrest related to a domestic violence charge call our office located a few blocks from the Tarrant County Jail. Schedule a consultation with one of our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys. If a warrant is issued for your arrest or if you are arrested we will quickly work to get a reasonable bond set and have you released from jail.
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