It is important to remember that a person can be charged with assault in Texas even when they are not accused of causing bodily injury to another person. For this reason, it is remarkably easy for any law enforcement response to a domestic violence-related call to end in one person being arrested and charged with domestic assault, also known as assault family violence.
A simple threat or any kind of physical contact that can be regarded as provocative may be enough to merit domestic assault charges in some cases. The consequences of a domestic assault conviction can be steep and may lead to difficulties in employment or housing matters.
If you were arrested for an alleged domestic assault in the greater Denton area, you should try not to make any statement to police until you have legal counsel. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.
Our firm will work to try and get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to setup a free consultation.
Domestic assault may be a violation of Texas Penal Code § 22.01, and domestic assault is a Class C Misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly threatens another person with imminent bodily injury, or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. Domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor if the other person in either of the aforementioned scenarios is an elderly or disabled individual,or an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person.
Causing bodily injury to another person becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a violent offense against a family or household member, or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the other person by applying pressure to the other person's throat or neck or by blocking the other person's nose or mouth. Domestic assault is a second-degree felony when an alleged offense is committed against an alleged victim related to the alleged offender through a dating relationship, family, or household membership, the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a violent offense against a family or household member, and the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the other person by applying pressure to the other person's throat or neck or by blocking the other person's nose or mouth.
Domestic assault committed against a family member two or more times in 12 months is referred to as continuous violence against the family under Texas Penal Code § 25.11. Continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony. Domestic assault is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender commits assault and causes serious bodily injury to another person or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault, and it is a first-degree felony if the alleged offender both uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a family or household member.
A domestic assault conviction could result in a number of different requirements from the court, including possible counseling.
The most common punishments are fines and terms of incarceration, which may be as follows:
● Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500
● Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000
● Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
● Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
● First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
A domestic assault charge is often based on the testimony of an alleged victim. Certain allegations may be exaggerated or completely false.
Other common defenses in domestic assault cases could include, but are not limited to:
● Mistaken identity
● Lack of evidence
● Protection of property
● Protection of another person
Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) — DCFOF was first incorporated on September 17, 1980 and became a Denton County United Way agency in 1982 and earned grants from the Texas Department of Human Resources for the family violence program. As of 2019, DCFOF has more than 70 staff employees and over 600 volunteers annually. DCFOF is the sole provider in Denton County of shelter and free outreach services to those who have been affected by relationship violence and/or sexual assault.
Denton County Friends of the Family
Denton Outreach Office
4845 S I-35 E, Suite 200
Corinth, TX 76210
Family Violence Program | Texas Health and Human Services — The Family Violence Program promotes self-sufficiency, safety, and long-term independence of adult and child victims of family violence and victims of teen dating violence. Visit this website to learn more about the Family Violence Program. You can also find a Family Violence Program Center.
Were you recently arrested for an alleged domestic assault in Denton or another nearby community in Denton County? Get an experienced lawyer on your side right away.