header-logo-3    Richard   C.   McConathy  
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
 [email protected]  
 
15110 Dallas Pkwy #400
  Dallas ,   Texas ,   75248   United States  
 
(972) 233-5700

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Domestic Assault

Domestic assault or spousal abuse is one of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Dallas. Family violence assault allegations can arise from a number of situations, including arguments that have escalated out of control, divorce disputes, and child custody disagreements.

A conviction for domestic assault can result in serious penalties, including whether jail or prison sentences, fines, a criminal record, an inability to own or possess a firearm, and a possible protective order. Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and consequences of your alleged offense.

Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.

Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ family violence laws and will make effort to fight the allegations against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation about your alleged family violence assault.

Definition of a Family Member in Dallas

Domestic assault allegations often arise when an individual commits an assault against a family member. A family member is defined under Texas law as anyone who is related by blood or by marriage, former spouses, parents of the same child, foster parents, and step-parents.

An individual can also be charged if they commit an assault against a household member. Texas law defines a household member as anyone who resides or previously resided in the same home, such as roommates.

Texas Family Code § 71.003 establishes that the term family includes people related by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Texas Family Code § 573.022 and Texas Family Code § 573.024, Government Code, individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together. Family violence is defined under Texas Family Code § 71.004 as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; abuse, as that term is defined by Texas Family Code § 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), (K), and (M), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or dating violence, as that term is defined by Texas Family Code § 71.0021.

Texas Government Code § 573.022 states that two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor. An adopted child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent for this purpose.

Texas Government Code § 573.024 establishes that two people are related to each other by affinity if they are married to each other or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual. The ending of a marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives.

Domestic Assault

Domestic Assault in Dallas

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, an individual can be charged with domestic assault if they

  • Knowingly, intentionally or recklessly cause bodily injury to their spouse or a family member;
  • Knowingly or intentionally threaten their spouse or family member with immediate bodily injury; or
  • Knowingly or intentionally cause physical contact to their spouse or family member they knew or had reasonable belief their spouse or family member would consider offense or provocative.

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a third-degree felony if the offense is committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the alleged offender is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b) (relating to dating violence), Texas Family Code § 71.003 (relating to family relationships), or Texas Family Code § 71.005 (relating to household members) if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the alleged offender has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter, Chapter 19, or Section 20.03, 20.04, 21.11, or 25.11 against a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), Texas Family Code § 71.003, or Texas Family Code § 71.005; or the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.

Dallas Aggravated Domestic Assault

As defined in Texas Penal Code § 22.02, an individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit domestic assault against their spouse or family member and:

  • Causes the spouse or family member serious bodily injury, or
  • Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the domestic assault.

Texas Penal Code § 22.02 states that a person commits an aggravated assault when they commit an assault and cause serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or use or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(17), a deadly weapon is defined as a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. 

Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) defines a bodily injury as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46), a serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Whereas an aggravated assault is typically a second-degree felony, aggravated domestic assault is often a first-degree felony because it usually involves causing serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to the alleged offender is described as a dating relationship, family, or household member. The criminal charge can also be elevated if the alleged offense is committed:

  • by a public servant acting under color of the servant’s office or employment;
  • against a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant;
  • in retaliation against or on account of the service of another as a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime; or
  • against a person, the actor knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer

The crime can also be elevated to a first-degree felony if the alleged offender was in a motor vehicle, and knowingly discharged a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, was reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and in discharging the firearm, caused serious bodily injury to any person.

Dallas Domestic Assault Penalties

An individual who is charged with the offense by threatening bodily injury or threatening to cause offensive physical contact can receive a conviction for a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $500.

An individual who is charged with a first offense by causing bodily injury to a family member or spouse can receive a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and/or up-to one year in jail.

An individual who is charged with an offense by causing bodily injury to a family member or spouse that has previously been convicted of a violent offense against the family member can lead to a conviction for a felony of the third degree, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An individual who is charged with an offense by strangling their spouse or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of their spouse by applying pressure to the neck or throat or blocking their nose or mouth, can result in a conviction for a felony of the third degree. This is punishable by two to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the alleged offender has a history of family violence, this offense can increase to a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Dallas Aggravated Domestic Assault Penalties

An individual charged with aggravated domestic assault can be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An individual who is charged with assault by using a deadly weapon during the offense and causing serious bodily injury to their spouse or family member can be convicted of a felony of the first degree. A conviction for this degree of offense is punishable by five years to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Domestic Assault Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your domestic assault allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is a knowledgeable Dallas domestic violence lawyer who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your particular offense.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.

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