In Texas, domestic assault is serious, and depending on the circumstances, prosecutors can file the charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted of domestic assault, offenders face significant penalties.
It is important to note that physical violence is not a necessary element of assault. Threats, even veiled ones, as well as intimidation and certain kinds of property damage can all constitute assault. If prosecutors can prove that a victim had a reasonable fear of harm, they can charge accused persons with assault.
The main difference between domestic assault and simple assault is the offender’s relationship to the victim. People cannot be charged with domestic assault unless they reside with the victim or have a familial or otherwise intimate relationship. Most commonly, the alleged victim is a spouse or ex-spouse, a roommate or a romantic partner.
To protect alleged victims, courts are typically lenient in terms of proof when it comes to granting emergency protection orders. If a complainant reasonably fears harm, the court will usually grant a restraining order.
The least serious domestic assault charge in Texas is classified as a class C misdemeanor, for which the maximum penalty is up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Conversely, the most severe domestic assault offense can be charged as a first-degree felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
People accused of domestic assault in Texas have a serious situation on their hands. If convicted, they face not only jail time and fines but the revocation of their right to bear arms. In more serious cases, those convicted can even lose their voting rights. Anyone looking at domestic assault charges may want to contact an experienced attorney right away.