We’ve all experienced bouts of anger or have been in heated disagreements with the ones we love, but what happens when you’ve been accused of taking it too far? What is the punishment for domestic violence in Texas? 

Punishments vary wildly depending on your previous criminal history and the nature of the assault. You could end up facing anywhere from a year in county jail for a Class A misdemeanor conviction (threatening harm) to 99 years in prison for a first-degree felony conviction (aggravated assault).

Domestic violence charges are serious and very often come with life-altering punishments. In this article, the assault defense attorneys from Thiessen Law Firm are here to explain what consequences you can expect after a conviction for assault on a family member.

Texas domestic violence laws

Texas does not have dedicated laws for family violence or dating violence. Instead, Texas domestic violence laws are classified as assault statutes similar to aggravated assault or simple assault.

According to Texas Penal Code § 22.01, simple assault charges occur when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

  1. causes bodily injury to another person, including the person’s spouse;
  2. threatens another person with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
  3. causes physical contact with another person when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other person will find it offensive or provocative.

Aggravated assault charges, according to Texas Penal Code § 22.02, occur when a person commits simple assault in addition to:

  1. causing serious bodily injury to another person, including a spouse; or
  2. using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.

An assault charge falls into what is commonly known as domestic violence when the person who is assaulted is classified as a:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Sibling
  • Roommate
  • Caretaker
  • Current or former romantic partner
  • The significant other of a former romantic partner

Because domestic violence is charged as assault on a family member, if you’re facing domestic violence charges in Texas, you will need to find the most aggressive assault lawyer in Houston to protect your name.

Learn more: How serious are first-time assault and battery charges in Texas?

What is the punishment for assault on a family member in Texas?

The punishments you face for assault with a family member or dating violence conviction will depend on the degree of assault you are charged with. Penalties for each classification can include:

ClassPrison SentenceFine
Domestic threatClass A misdemeanorUp to a year in a county jailUp to $4,000
Domestic assault3rd Degree felony2 to 10 yearsUp to $10,000
Domestic assault2nd Degree felony2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
Aggravated assault1st Degree felony5 to 99 yearsUp to $10,000

In addition to the punishments that come with the specific conviction, you may be required to pay restitution to the victim, as well as lose your right to vote or possess firearms. Furthermore, you’ll also face the natural consequences that come with domestic violence charges in Texas such as the effect it will have on your reputation, family life, and ability to find a job or take out a loan.

How to defend yourself against assault charges

Whether you’re facing a first-time simple assault charge or a second offense, it is in your best interest to hire a defense lawyer who can help you build a strong defense. Do not attempt to go at it alone. There is no substitute for having a lawyer on your side who knows how to use evidence to your advantage, cross-examine any inconsistencies in the accusations, and ultimately increase the odds you walk away with lesser charges — or even better, a “Not Guilty” verdict.

Looking for a solid defense against domestic violence charges? Call Thiessen Law Firm today!

So, what is the punishment for domestic violence in Texas? Domestic violence is charged as assault in Texas and a conviction will likely come with punishments like jail time, steep fines, restitution, and severely negative effects on your reputation and your life.

At Thiessen Law Firm, we believe that your side of the story is equally as important. In many cases, the person accused of domestic violence never actually committed the crime. Don’t let false accusations stemming from a bad breakup, jealousy, or revenge land you with a permanent record or an unnecessary protective order against the accuser — or in worse cases, your children.

If you’re facing a family assault charge in Texas, don’t wait to hire a Houston domestic violence attorney like Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm. Accusations of assault on a family member don’t have to ruin your life, but if you’re convicted, they very well could. 

To learn more about how we can help you build a strong defense, give us a call at 713-864-9000 today.

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Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.