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TRBR. Todd Bennett, P.C.

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Domestic violence offenses in Texas

Texas domestic violence laws cover more relationships than people might think. The penalties for domestic violence convictions vary depending on the level of the charges, which may range from misdemeanors carrying fines of up to $500 to second-degree felonies carrying from two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

In Texas, people may be charged with domestic violence offenses if they threaten to cause bodily harm, do cause bodily harm or physically contact others in ways that the others find offensive when they are in domestic situations. People may be charged with the offenses for such contact if it is intentional. The alleged victims may include spouses, people in dating relationships, people living in the same household, blood relatives and people who have affinities with the alleged offenders, including foster children and parents.

The level of offense that is charged will depend on the relationship the accused has with the alleged victim. It will also depend on the type of alleged contact or threats, whether or not strangulation or suffocation was involved and the prior criminal record of the defendant.

People who are facing domestic assault charges might want to seek help from experienced criminal defense attorneys. Lawyers may analyze the facts in order to determine what defenses might be applicable in their clients' cases. The potential defenses to domestic violence allegations may include that the act was unintentional, that nothing actually happened, that there was a lack of knowledge or that the defendants acted in self-defense. After determining the appropriate defensive strategies to take, the lawyers may then work to negotiate favorable pleas for their clients. When it is warranted, attorneys may try to secure dismissals of the charges.

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