We are one of Austin’s top dating violence lawyers. Family Violence, Domestic Violence, and Dating Violence are generally lumped together under the term “domestic violence.” If you are involved in an assault where one of the other parties is a family member, roommate, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s a whole different ball game. Texas law takes dating violence very seriously. Make sure you have the right austin dating violence defense lawyer.
Assuming no bodily injury or choking occurred (and we’ll choking below) domestic violence assault is generally a Class A Misdemeanor. When a person is convicted of domestic violence—or even successfully completes deferred adjudication and had their case dismissed—the court enters a “Family Violence Finding.” This family violence finding will follow you for the rest of your life. If you are ever arrested a second time for family violence the charge gets bumped up from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Second Degree Felony. Since this is Texas, it’s important to note that if you have a family violence finding, you may never own or possess a firearm or ammunition. To do so is against state and federal law.
Texas law has also recently changed regarding domestic violence. Under the new law, if you “impede the normal breathing” of a person in the course of committing the offense of domestic violence you will be charged with a second degree felony (as opposed to a Class A Misdemeanor). Since the change in the law, all of our clients who have been charged with domestic violence and who have put their hand somewhere around or on the other person’s neck or throat have been charged with a second degree felony.
Punishment for Assault
The Class C Misdemeanor offense of simple assault is punishable by a fine only up to $500. It is possible to be charged with a simple assault involving domestic violence. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. Aggravated Assault or an enhanced domestic violence assault is a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
If your dating violence case is dismissed it is probably eligible to be expunged. We always encourage our clients to pursue an expunction if they are eligible. An expunction allows you to legally deny that you were ever charged or arrested for a crime. It is a very worthwhile procedure and one that we can help you with.