San Benito Domestic Violence Lawyer
Defending Clients Charged with Domestic Assault Throughout Brownsville & Cameron County
In the case of any criminal charge, you are innocent until proven guilty, but in circumstances involving a domestic situation, you may find yourself up against the negative social stigma attached to domestic abuse even before you have ever been convicted. For this reason and because the penalties for domestic violence can be severe, you should bring in a San Benito domestic violence lawyer you can trust to give you the voice and defense you need and deserve at this crucial time.
Why Hire Our Firm When Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Texas?
As a former Cameron County prosecutor, our San Benito domestic violence attorney has years of trial experience in handling such cases, as well as a deep understanding of the family law repercussions of these types of charges and convictions.
What Are the Domestic Violence Laws in Texas?
Those who can be involved in a domestic violence charge include spouses and former spouses, current and former domestic partners, person who have had a child together, parents, children, foster parents and foster children, individuals cohabiting or who have formerly cohabited, individuals related by blood or marriage, and those involved in a current or former dating or romantic relationship.
Domestic violence charges in Texas consists of the following:
- Domestic assault
- Aggravated domestic assault
- Continuous violence of a domestic nature
Domestic assault consists of knowingly or intentionally causing bodily harm to the victim, threatening to cause bodily harm to the victim, which does not have to result in actual physical contact, or knowingly or intentionally making some kind of physical contact that is seen as offensive or provoking to the victim.
How is Domestic Assault Charged in Texas?
It is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor in a first offense, punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of up to $4,000. If you have a previous conviction, you will likely face third-degree felony charges punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
You may also be required to pay restitution in any domestic violence assault conviction to cover medical expenses, damaged property, or counseling for the victim. Furthermore, you may become subject to a restraining order which can result in restrictions concerning contact with the victim, child custody and visitation repercussions, and being made to vacate your home.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
This charge applies to cases where serious bodily harm was inflicted or where a deadly weapon was used while threatening or assaulting the victim. It is generally charged as a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
If you have two or more instances of domestic violence within a 12-month period, you can be charged with this offense. The previous domestic assaults do not have to have been committed against the same person. This is charged as a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Penalties for Assault on a Family Member in Texas
In Texas, assault on a family member, or “domestic assault,” can result in serious punishment depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.
Possible penalties can include:
- First-degree felony: up to a $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years imprisonment
- Second-degree felony: up to a $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years imprisonment
- Third-degree felony: up to a $10,000 fine and 2 to 10 years imprisonment
- Class A misdemeanor: up to a $4,000 fine and/or up to one year in jail
Domestic Violence Protective Orders in Texas
If you have been arrested for domestic assault, not only do you face serious criminal charges, but you could also be subject to a protective order. Also known as restraining orders, they prevent the alleged offender from communicating with or being in close proximity to the filing party and their family, give child custody rights to the filing party, remove any firearms from the offender’s home, and other orders.
A judge will hold a hearing to determine whether a protective order is necessary. If the court believes that the victim is in immediate danger, the court may issue a temporary ex parte order that is effective until the hearing date.
At the hearing, you and the other party will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case. The court will consider factors such as the severity of the alleged abuse and the likelihood of future harm before making a final decision. A permanent protective order generally lasts for up to two years.
Contact Our San Benito Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence cases can be notoriously complicated, often due to “he said—she said” types of situations. Allegations may be based on false or misleading statements, broken relationships, divorce, and custody battles, and may involve complicated family and domestic histories and backgrounds. Ensuring you have competent and dedicated legal representation is crucial in such cases if you wish to increase your chances for a favorable outcome. Our San Benito domestic violence lawyer is prepared to explore all legal avenues in helping you avoid a conviction or reduce charges or penalties.