In domestic situations, when the use of force causes physical injury, or causes another type of physical contact (which the victim perceives as provocative or offensive), or threatens to cause physical harm, it is domestic violence under Texas law. If you are facing criminal charges in such a case, your best bet is to hire a Houston domestic violence attorney to present a strong legal defense.
What the Prosecution Must Prove
In order to prove the domestic violence charge against you, a prosecutor in Texas will be required to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted knowingly or intentionally to harm or threaten the other party. If the action has resulted in actual bodily injuries, it may also be necessary for the prosecution to show evidence which confirms that your action was reckless and led to physical injury.
Domestic violence laws in Texas not only apply to spouses, but also to: (a) those related by affinity or blood, including foster children and foster parents; (b) people who are in a dating relationship; and (c) anyone who resides in the same household.
Domestic violence charges have serious legal consequences, and it is important to choose an experienced Houston domestic assault attorney who is determined to fight the government in order to protect your rights.
Domestic Violence or Assault: Key Elements
In a case of domestic violence in Texas, the prosecution must prove that there was an assault against a member of the family or household, or against a present or past dating partner. At least one of the following elements must be present in order to prove these charges:
- The defendant acted knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly, and the action caused bodily harm to another person
- The defendant threatened another person knowingly or intentionally with imminent bodily harm
- The defendant knowingly or intentionally caused physical contact with another person, while knowing (or should have reasonably known) that the victim would perceive it as offensive or provocative
It is never easy to prove these elements, and if you have a dedicated Houston criminal defense attorney on your side, you can put up a robust defense. Some of the possible defense arguments may include: (a) Self-defense (b) No offense occurred (c) Lack of knowledge (d) The act was a mistake or unintentional.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
If an act of domestic violence causes severe bodily injuries, or the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon is involved in carrying out the act or threat, the defendant could be charged with aggravated domestic assault.
Examples of a severe bodily injury may include loss of limb, head injury, disfigurement, or broken bones. A “deadly weapon” could include any type of object that can potentially cause the victim’s death. Examples include knives, brass knuckles, firearms, but may also include things like a rope or a baseball bat, depending on the facts and circumstances of the cases.
A conviction in case of aggravated domestic assault will lead to a felony charge of second degree.
Continuous Domestic Violence
The charge of continuous violence against the family may apply if the defendant has committed at least two domestic assaults within a period of two months. A conviction would lead to a third-degree felony.
An arrest doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Your case can be fought, and it can be won. Flood-Lewis & Associates has a team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys that will fight tooth and nail for victory on your behalf. Call our team 24/7, 365 at 713-224-5529 for a free case review or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys.