When police respond to an alleged family violence incident, assault charges are common. The proof of the crime is often based entirely on the statements of an alleged victim. While an alleged offender can be charged with domestic assault for physically injuring another person, he or she could also be arrested for merely threatening to harm somebody else.
A conviction for any family violence-related offense can have lifelong consequences. After a plea, domestic assault charges cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record, meaning that the crime will be public knowledge for any employer, professional licensing agency, or landlord.
Fort Worth Domestic Assault Lawyer
If you have been charged with allegedly assaulting a family or household member in North Central Texas, it is a mistake to think that you can show up in court and simply articulate your side of the story in hopes of getting the case thrown out. You can give yourself the best chance of having criminal charges reduced or dismissed by immediately contacting Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC.
Our Fort Worth domestic assault attorneys represent clients all over Tarrant County, including the greater Arlington and Fort Worth areas. We also serve areas in Parker County such as Weatherford and Cleburne in Johnson County. Call 817-502-3600 today to set up a free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.
Overview of Domestic Assault Charges in Tarrant County
- How are assault crimes involving family or household members typically classified?
- What are the possible consequences if an alleged offender is convicted?
- Where can victims find more information about these crimes?
Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code is dedicated to assaultive offenses. Domestic assault crimes are typically classified under one of two statutes in this chapter.
Crimes involving alleged assault may receive any of the following classifications under Texas Penal Code § 22.01:
- Class C Misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly threatens another person with imminent bodily injury.
- Class C Misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative, but the charge becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the other person is an elderly or disabled individual.
- Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, but the charge becomes a third degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a violent offense against a family or household member, or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the other person by applying pressure to the other person's throat or neck or by blocking the other person's nose or mouth. If all three of these elements are involved, then the crime is classified as a second-degree felony.
An alleged offender could also be charged with aggravated domestic assault if the crime involved certain additional factors.
If a person commits assault against a family member two or more times in 12 months, the offense is considered continuous violence against the family under Texas Penal Code § 25.11. The crime is classified as a third-degree felony.
Assault becomes a second-degree felony if an alleged offender commits assault and causes serious bodily injury to another person or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
If the alleged offender both uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a family or household member, then the charge is a first-degree felony.
For many people, the primary concerns with any criminal charges are the immediate punishments. In assault cases, a conviction may result in the following sentences:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Maximum fine of $500;
- Class A Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or maximum fine of $4,000;
- Third Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or maximum fine of $10,000;
- Second Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or maximum fine of $10,000; and
- First Degree Felony — Life or maximum sentence of 99 years in prison and/or maximum fine of $10,000.
It is important to note that there can also be a variety of additional long-term consequences to a domestic assault conviction. For example, Texas Penal Code § 46.04(b) prohibits a person convicted of domestic assault from possessing a firearm until five years after his or her release from confinement or community supervision.
One Safe Place — As a program of Tarrant County’s Safe City Commission, One Safe Place is a nonprofit organization with a mission to “serve those affected by domestic violence by offering comprehensive, integrated quality programs, provide safety for the immediate situation and hope for the future.” On this website, you can learn more about some of the services One Safe Place provides, including counseling, victim advocacy, child protection services, and emergency financial assistance.
One Safe Place
1100 Hemphill Street
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Victim Assistance | Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) — The Victim Assistance Section of the FWPD provides assistance and support services directly to victims of crime. The unit advises victims of their rights, provides on-site crisis intervention and offers referrals and information on community resources. On this website, you can also view the FWPD’s family violence brochure.
350 West Belknap Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Find a Lawyer for Domestic Assault Charges in Fort Worth, TX
Were you recently arrested for alleged assault of a family or household member in North Central Texas? Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients accused of family violence crimes in Fort Worth, Arlington, and many surrounding areas in Tarrant County.
Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys also represent clients in Weatherford, Cleburne, and other nearby communities in Parker County and Johnson County. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case to discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to set up a free, confidential consultation.