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.
On Aug. 4, a minor league baseball player in Texas was handed one charge for misdemeanor assault family violence. The 22-year-old Corpus Christi Hooks outfielder was charged for an incident with his girlfriend that was caught on camera on Aug. 2. The Hooks president said that Major League Baseball placed the accused man on administrative leave after learning about the criminal case.
Domestic violence and family violence are very similar crimes. However, Texas law does draw some distinctions between the two offenses. Domestic violence typically involves violence between two adults who are married to one another, whereas family violence covers violence among any of a wider group of people.
Domestic assault and violence-related charges in Texas are taken very seriously by law enforcement. While this is good public policy as a hopeful deterrent against domestic violence, it also creates complex issues when enforced. Especially when there was no actual domestic assault and a call to the police is made out of anger or retaliation. While there are exceptions to every situation, in almost all domestic dispute cases, when the police are called to the home someone will get arrested.
Houston police have reported that a 29-year-old man was taken into custody on April 3 after a family dispute turned deadly. The man is alleged to have shot the boyfriend of his child's mother several times after he became embroiled in an argument with the woman. The incident took place outside the home of the child's mother in northeast Houston at approximately 8:00 p.m.
Police in Texas have stated that a case of domestic violence involving NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel has been referred to prosecutors. The Dallas police made the announcement on the department's blog on Feb. 25. The investigation into Manziel's conduct was initiated after an incident involving the former Heisman Trophy winner and his 23-year-old girlfriend on Jan. 30.
Texas residents who are familiar with the Disney TV show 'That's So Raven" may remember a character from the show named Eddie Thomas. Orlando Brown, the actor who portrayed Eddie Thomas, was taken into police custody on Jan. 17 for a number of different charges including battery. The 28-year-old actor was accused of striking his girlfriend, an allegation that he has denied in several public videos.
While there is no question that domestic violence against women is a major problem, it appears that men are also dealing with abuse in significant, if lower, numbers. However, not as much attention is paid to this issue because men are less likely to report being physically or mentally abused. This is likely in part due to the fact that men are embarrassed and society tends to see men in these situations as being weak.
According to the American Psychological Association, significant numbers of U.S. men and women alike are at relatively high risk of some form abuse by intimate partners. APA statistics show that almost 50 percent of all U.S. women have been subjected to some kind of psychological aggression by their partners or intimate acquaintances. Certain risk factors, such as being economically or educationally disadvantaged, may increase the chances of experiencing violence from partners.
Cuts in funding for family violence programs in Texas would be restored under a proposal from one state senator. As the Texas legislature works on a budget for the fiscal year, restoring $1.25 million in budget cuts from the last legislative session to domestic violence intervention and prevention programs is a priority for some legislators.Domestic violence services account for $51 million in Texas. The budget cuts affected programs aimed at preventing domestic violence by focusing on the offender. Other programs focus on the accuser of family violence. Proponents of restoring funding for the programs point to their importance in addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence.