The state of Texas takes any form of domestic violence very seriously, and anyone convicted of an offense may face serious consequences. Consequences of domestic assault include probation, jail time, a protective order against you, court fees, and any other punishment the court deems fit. If you were charged with domestic violence in Dallas, take the charges seriously and retain the help of an experienced domestic battery attorney.
What is Domestic Battery?
Not all domestic violence charges are the same. Under Texas Family Code 71.004, domestic violence refers to “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.” Physical acts of violence may include battery, aggravated battery, sexual battery, assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, false imprisonment or any other criminal offense committed by one family or household members that puts another family or household member in danger or in fear of danger.
Battery, specifically, refers to the intentional act of striking someone with the intent to harm him or her. A person may be charged with battery even if the injuries inflicted are slight. Battery differs from assault in that assault does not require a person to physically touch another; battery, on the other hand, does. If a weapon is used to inflict harm, the offender may be charged with aggravated domestic battery.
Punishments for Domestic Battery
Because domestic violence is not usually a one-time occurrence, the courts treat it seriously in the hopes of squashing the potential future incidences. As a result, punishments are usually great, even if the victim chooses not to press charges. Some possible penalties for domestic violence in Texas include:
- A fine of up to $500 for first time offenders;
- A fine of up to $2,000 and not more than 180 days in jail or both for individuals convicted of a Class B misdemeanor offense;
- A fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail or both for individuals convicted of a class A misdemeanor offense;
- A fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in prison or both for individuals convicted of a third-degree domestic violence offense, which may include violating a protective order, child abuse, and/or stalking;
- A fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in prison or both for individuals convicted of a second degree domestic violence offense; and
- A fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of between five and 99 years or both for individuals convicted of a first degree aggravated domestic violence offense.
As you can see, the consequences for domestic violence grow progressively more severe. First time offenders can still be found guilty of a third-degree domestic violence offense and be sentenced to 10 years in prison despite a life’s worth of good behavior. The best way to avoid prison time and hefty fines is to retain the help of a skilled domestic battery lawyer.
Retain the Legal Assistance You Need Today
If you were charged with domestic battery in Texas, do not take a chance on your future; reach out the experienced Dallas domestic battery lawyers at Udeshi Clark and Associates today. We are prepared to help you fight the charges and either reduce them or have them dismissed entirely. Call our office to start building your defense today.