Assault of a Family Member
Houston Assault of a Family Member Attorney
In Texas, assault of a family member can occur between spouses, common-law partners, or parents and children. Normal discipline is not considered assault. Injury does not have to occur, as those who simply make unwanted physical contact in a threatening manner can be found guilty of this charge. Officers are allowed to arrest an individual based upon probable cause, which means it is more likely than not that the offense occurred. Some of the ways in which officers determine probable cause include:
- Witness testimony
- Statements made by the victim and/or offender
- Presence of injury that substantiates domestic violence claim
Possible Repercussions for a Conviction
A first arrest for assault of a family member or domestic violence will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor. The possible penalties for this crime include:
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
- Community service
- Anger management counseling
A second and subsequent arrest is considered a third-degree felony. Punishment in this case could be:
- Prison term ranging from two to 10 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
In addition to these penalties, offenders will also be banned from carrying firearms for a period of up to five years after completing a sentence. Judges may also issue protective orders that bar defendants from having contact with their victim. A domestic violence conviction could make it difficult to obtain a security clearance, thereby making it challenging to seek employment with a government agency or enlist in the military.
Instances of assault on a family member are often based solely on the victim’s testimony. In this instance, it might be possible to challenge the credibility of the story by showing an ulterior motive was involved. Individuals may sometimes use self-defense as an affirmative defense if it can be proven that the victim assaulted the perpetrator first. In some cases, it might be possible to use a “heat of passion” defense if there were extenuating circumstances involved. Other times, a domestic violence attorney may be able to get the charges dropped altogether due to lack of sufficient evidence.
A Helpful Domestic Violence Attorney
Houston assault of a family member attorney Brett A. Podolsky is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who is board certified in criminal law. He has also worked as a prosecutor and uses the knowledge he gained while employed in this capacity to benefit his clients. He’ll work tirelessly to expose flaws in the prosecution’s case so that clients can obtain a successful outcome.
Those who have been accused of assaulting a family member are encouraged to speak to Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087.