5 Things You Need to Know About Family Violence in Texas

Domestic or family violence allegations often arise from underlying family law situations, such divorce or child custody disputes. Occasionally, these accusations are false or were not made intentionally. Family violence situations are taken seriously and typically thoroughly investigated by law enforcement officers, even if no witnesses were present or there is no other evidence of abuse.

Allegations of family violence can lead to additional legal issues, such as applications for protective orders, violations of protective orders, and child abuse or neglect.

If you have been accused of committing family or domestic violence or have been a victim of family violence, it is essential to consult an experienced family lawyer in Houston to represent your best interests in your family law proceedings.

Houston Family Violence Lawyer

If you have been accused of family violence or domestic violence or have been a victim of domestic violence in Houston, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Spring, Humble, Tomball, Aldine, Atascocita, Klein, Jersey Village, The Woodlands, Conroe or Oak Ridge North, contact the law offices of The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, P.C. The attorneys of The Law Office of Bryan Fagan are experienced Texas family lawyers and will make every effort to defend the allegations against you or represent you if you are a victim of domestic abuse. Call The Law Office of Bryan Fagan at (281) 810-9760 about your domestic violence questions.

What is Family Violence in Houston

Family Violence in Houston is also commonly known as domestic violence, domestic abuse or spousal abuse, and is an intentional act by an individual that cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault to a family or household member. A family or household member can be anyone who is:

  • Related through blood or marriage,
  • Husband and wife,
  • An ex-wife,
  • An ex-husband,
  • Former spouses,
  • Parents of the same child,
  • Step-parents,
  • Roommates,
  • Presently or previously residing in the same home, and
  • Foster parents.

An individual can also commit dating violence in Houston, which is defined as an intentional act that causes another person in a dating relationship physical or bodily harm. A dating relationship is a relationship that is current or occurred in the preceding six months that involved a continuous, ongoing physical relationship.

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or has been accused of domestic violence may be required to attend a protective order hearing. A protective order is also known as a restraining order, protection order, or order of protection against family violence, and will be issued by the court if the judge finds family violence has occurred and will likely occur in the future.

Common Houston Family Violence Offenses

An individual that has been accused of committing family violence in Houston may be charged with any of the following offenses:

Domestic Assault - Tex. Penal Code § 22.01 – An individual can be charged with domestic assault if they intentionally, recklessly or knowingly:

  • Cause bodily injury to a household or family member,
  • Threaten to cause injury to a family or household member, or
  • Physically contact a family or household member.

This offense is generally punishable as a class C, B or A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.

Aggravated Domestic Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.02 – An individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit an assault offense against a family or household member and use a deadly weapon or cause serious bodily injury. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the first or second degree.

Protective Order Violation – Tex. Penal Code § 25.07 – An individual can be charged with violating the terms of their protective order if they knowingly or intentionally violate the terms of a protective order issued against them. This offense is punishable as a class A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.

Stalking - Tex. Penal Code § 42.072 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they repeatedly and knowingly engage in conduct targeted at a specific person, such as a family or household member or a person in a dating relationship:

  • That the person perceives as threatening;
  • That causes the individual to fear they will be seriously harmed; and
  • That would cause a reasonable person in the same situation to be afraid of injury or death from the conduct.

This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second or third degree.

Child Abuse - Tex. Penal Code § 22.04 - An individual can be charged with child abuse if they recklessly, knowingly or intentionally cause bodily harm or injury to a child. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the third, second or first degree.

Houston Penalties for Committing Family Violence

According to Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, the penalties for many domestic violence offenses are as follows:

  • A class C misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can result in a fine up to $500.
  • A class B misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
  • A class A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • A felony of the third degree family violence conviction can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A felony of the second degree family violence conviction can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A felony of the first degree family violence conviction can result in a prison term ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

These basic statutory domestic violence penalties can vary depending on:

  • The type and degree of family violence offense,
  • Whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense;
  • Whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal record;
  • Whether the victim was elderly, disabled or a child; and
  • Whether death, bodily injury or serious bodily injury occurred.

An individual who commits continuous family violence can also be convicted of a third degree felony offense, according to Tex. Penal Code § 25.11. Contiguous violence is defined as committing any offense considered domestic violence two or more times within a 12 month period.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Divorcing from an Abusive Spouse in Texas: What you Need to Know
  2. The Complete Beginner's Guide to Texas Protective Orders
  3. Common Law Marriage and Texas Divorce Guide
  4. I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn't: What can I do?
  5. Am I Married? - Marital Status in Texas
  6. Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
  7. When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
  8. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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