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What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Laws in Texas

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, or if you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime in the state of Texas, you need to know what the law says and what your rights are. The domestic violence laws in Texas differ from some other states, so it’s important to know specifically what the law is in the state where the crime took place.

Here’s what you need to know about domestic violence laws in Texas.

The Definition of “Domestic” in Terms of Assault Crimes

An incident of domestic violence occurs when the crime is committed against a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner.

Categories of Domestic Violence Laws in Texas

Domestic violence laws fall under 3 basic types in the state of Texas:

  • Domestic Assault. Threatening a family member, household member, or dating partner with imminent bodily injury is considered domestic assault. Knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to the person is also considered domestic assault. Finally, “intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the offender knows or reasonably should know the victim will find provocative or offensive.” (Tex. Penal Code Ann. §22.01.)
  • Aggravated Domestic Assault. A more serious case of domestic assault increases to aggravated domestic assault. It is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person, or if a deadly weapon is used or exhibited in the course of a domestic assault crime. Aggravated domestic assault also includes threatening bodily injury or “engaging in conduct that the victim will likely find offensive” (Tex. Penal Code Ann. §22.02).
  • Continuous Violence Against the Family. If the same person commits two or more domestic assaults within the same household within a period of 12 months it is considered continuous violence against the family. It does not necessarily have to be the same victim and neither incident has to result in an arrest or conviction for a person to be convicted of this.

Degrees and Penalties for Domestic Violence

Domestic violence laws in Texas vary in terms of degree and the possible penalties associated with a conviction. Domestic assault can be a class A misdemeanor for a first offense, or a third degree felony for a repeat offense. Aggravated Domestic Assault can be a first degree felony if a deadly weapon is used to inflict serious bodily injury, otherwise it is a second degree felony. Continuous violence against the family is considered a third degree felony.

Possible penalties are as follows:

  • Class A misdemeanor – up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4,000, or both
  • 3rd degree felony – from 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • 2nd degree felony – from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and
  • 1st degree felony — from 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000

Who Needs a Lawyer in a Domestic Violence Case?

Whether you are the victim or the accused, you need legal representation. As a victim you have the right to press charges and to have the help of an attorney who will fight for your rights. As the accused, you also have the right to an attorney who will make sure your rights are upheld in court. Domestic violence cases can be very difficult and emotional for everyone involved, which is why professional legal representation is not only helpful, but necessary.

Non Stop Justice: The Law Office of Andrea M. Kolski

If you’re in need of legal representation in a domestic violence case, The Law Office of Andrea M. Kolski is here for you. We have over 20+ years of experience with cases of domestic violence in Texas, representing victims and the accused. We understand both sides of the law, which gives us a unique perspective and the best outcome for our clients.

Call (832) 381-3430 or contact us today to discuss your case or schedule an appointment. We will fight for your rights in this difficult time.

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The Woodlands Office
8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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