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Fight Your Domestic Violence Charges in Williamson County

Under the provisions of Texas law, charges of violence, or even threats of violence, against a family or another household member are considered particularly serious. The penalties imposed in a case of domestic violence are different and more severe than those in cased involving violence perpetrated against a non-household member.

In addition to the potential for more severe penalties in a case involving an allegation of domestic violence, the procedures in place are also different. Most significantly, there are policies that prevent a person alleging domestic violence from “dropping” a case. This policy exists even though allegations of domestic violence sometimes do arise out of misunderstandings as well as exaggerated or even false allegations.

If you are faced with an allegation of domestic violence, you must understand the essential elements of this type of crime. You also need to understand your legal rights in this type of case. Finally, you must appreciate the importance of retaining a skilled, experienced domestic violence defense attorney to protect those legal interests, like a member of the legal team at The Jackson Law Firm.

Definition of Domestic Violence in the State of Texas

Chapter 71 of the Texas Penal Code sets forth the definition of the crime of domestic violence. The statute breaks down domestic violence into family violence and dating violence.

Family violence is defined by the Texas Penal Code as an act intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, sexual assault, or a threat of any one of these types of acts. The act or threat must be perpetrated against a member of the accused individual’s family or household.

Dating violence is defined as any one of the acts or threats identified a moment ago. However, rather than being perpetrated against a family or household member, an act or threat is made against an individual with whom the perpetrator is involved in a dating relationship. The Texas Penal Code defines “dating relationship” is a rather vague manner. In determining whether a dating relationship exists, the court considered the nature and length of the relationship at issue. The court will also examine the manner in which the accused and complaining witness interacted in that relationship.

Family or Household Members as Defined by Texas Penal Code

The Texas Penal Code provides guidance as to family or household members under the provisions dealing with domestic violence. Family or household members set forth in the Texas Penal Code provisions addressing domestic violence include:

  • husband or wife
  • ex-husband or ex-wife
  • brother or sister
  • mother or father
  • child
  • foster child
  • foster parent
  • mother or father of a person’s child

Frequent Types of Domestic Violence Charges Lodged in Texas

There are certain types of crimes associated with domestic violence that are more commonplace in the state of Texas. These crimes are alleged with fairly significant frequency.

  • Domestic Assault: Domestic assault occurs when the defendant in a case is accused of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engaging in conduct that causes bodily harm to another person. This charge can also include a threat of imminent bodily harm. When this type of conduct involves a family or household member, or the accused individual is in a dating relationship, the case falls within the category of domestic assault.
  • Terroristic Threat: Terroristic threat means intentionally placing another individual in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. When a terroristic threat is made against a family member, household member or person with whom the accused is in a dating, it is classified as domestic violence.
  • Stalking: Stalking is frequently charged in the state of Texas in the context of a domestic violence situation. Stalking is defined as to act in a manner, more that one time, that the person accused of the conduct knows, or should know, will cause the victim to feel threatened. The threat can be to the victim’s life, safety or property. It is a case of domestic violence if the target of the alleged stalking is family or household member, or a person with whom the accused individual is or has been in a dating relationship.
  • Injury to a Child: One of the most serious types of domestic violence charges is one involving an allegation of injury to a child. This type of allegation involves causing injury to a child, including physical or mental injury. The statute defines a child as being under the age of 14 for this type of charge. The child can be a family member or a child within that age category living with the residence who is not related.

Interference with Emergency Phone Call

A frequent allegation made in the context of domestic violence is interference with an emergency phone call. A person can be charged with this crime when he or she prevents another family or household member, or person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, from calling 911, law enforcement, or for medical assistance.

Assault by Strangulation

Many individuals are surprised to learn that one of the most common types of domestic violence cases involves strangulation. This is a charge in which an alleged perpetrator applies pressure to a family or household member’s throat, or to the throat of an individual with whom he or she is involved in a dating relationship.

Retain a Skilled, Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

The first step in retaining a qualified, experienced, tenacious domestic violence defense attorney is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation. You can schedule an initial consultation with a domestic violence defense attorney by calling The Jackson Law Firm today.

During an initial consultation, a Jackson Law Firm domestic violence defense attorney will provide you with an evaluation of your case. This will include possible defenses to an allegation of domestic violence. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the charges you face. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a domestic violence defense attorney.