Assault and family violence are serious issues that may simply start as a disagreement and grow into a far bigger problem. Here in Travis County, we have a court specifically designated to handle all assault family violence cases. Judge Mike Denton in County Court at Law #4 presides over all these cases in Travis County.
Domestic violence involves physical violence or threats of violence upon a spouse, a person with whom an individual is living with, or a person who is the mother/father of the aggravator’s child.
Crimes of violence include:
- The assault/abuse of a spouse
- Battery/assault of another individual you aren’t related to
- Criminal threats or threatening phone calls
- Assault with serious bodily injury
- Assault with a deadly weapon
Domestic violence cases can be classified as felonies or misdemeanors. If there are severe cuts or broken bones involved, then the aggravator will be charged with a felony. If there is no injury, or slight scrapes and bruises, the case will be classified as a misdemeanor. If the individual who inflicted the violence has had previous conviction for assault family violence, then the case will be filed as a felony. In Texas, you will be charged with a felony if it is your second domestic violence charge. If the defendant is charged with a felony he or she could serve up to ten years in jail, but if the charge is a misdemeanor the maximum jail time would be no more than a year.
In most violence cases the outcome comes down to your word against the victim’s. If the court sides with the victim there will be long-term consequences aside from jail time. A conviction for assault or violence could remain on your criminal record, hindering your chances of finding a job or taking away your rights to visitation of your children. You may also lose your right to hold firearms, and if you aren’t a U.S. citizen you can face deportation or have your citizenship denied.
If you are charged with assault family violence, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. In many cases, the judge will issue an Emergency Protective Order as a result of the allegations of assault. Hiring an attorney experienced with assault family violence cases at the beginning will help protect your rights.