What Are the Family Violence Laws in Texas?
The month of October is designated as National Domestic Violence Month. The goal is to bring awareness of how prevalent the issue of domestic violence is. According to national statistics, 10 percent of the nation’s domestic violence homicides occur right here in Texas. The Texas Council on Family Violence estimates one in three Texans will be a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime.
While there is no doubt domestic violence is a national issue that must be addressed, it is also true that there are many people who are arrested for domestic violence that should not be. False accusations are levied against innocent people for a variety of reasons – as leverage in a divorce or child custody battle, revenge for a romantic breakup, and more. Not only do these false accusations wreak havoc on the lives of those falsely accused, but they also are unfair and hurtful to those who are true victims of domestic abuse.
Texas Family Violence Laws
In Texas, domestic violence is legally referred to as family violence. The Texas Code defines family violence as follows:
An act by a family or household member that is intended to cause physical harm or assault or a threat that places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm or assault.
Abuse by a family or household member towards a child.
An act by one person against the other between two people who are in a dating situation or had a dating situation that is intended to cause physical harm or assault or a threat that places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm or assault.
The law also states that family violence can take on several forms, including child endangerment, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and sexual assault.
Penalties for Family Violence Convictions in Texas
Texas has several classifications of family violence charges and any penalties for convictions will depend on the classification the accused was charged at:
Class C misdemeanor: A fine of up to $500
Class B misdemeanor: Jail sentence up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000
Class A misdemeanor: Jail sentence up to 12 months fine of up to $4,000
State jail felony: Prison sentence for a minimum of 180 days up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000
Third-degree felony: Prison sentence of between two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000
Second-degree felony: Prison sentence of between two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000
First-degree felony: Prison sentence of between five to 99 years, or life, and a fine of up to $10,000
Contact a Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for family violence, no matter what the circumstances, contact a skilled Plano, TX family violence attorney for help in defending against these charges. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how we can help.