You’re probably familiar with the term “domestic violence.”
In Texas, domestic violence is referred to as “family violence.” Under the Texas Family Code, family violence is an act committed
by one family or household member against another member that is meant
to cause the other person bodily injury or physical harm.
Family violence also includes sexual assault and threats that place an
individual in fear of imminent physical violence. For a more detailed
explanation of family violence, see
Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code.
Texas does not have a specific statute for family or domestic violence.
Instead, offenses against family or household members are addressed under
Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code,
Assaultive Offenses. However, it is worth mentioning that when certain assaultive offenses
are committed against a family member, such as one’s spouse or
child, the penalties are enhanced.
Assaultive Offenses: Family Violence
Which assaultive offenses apply to family violence? Several, including:
- Aggravated assault
- Deadly conduct
- Terroristic threat
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
In Texas, family violence offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies
depending on the facts of the case, such as whether a weapon was involved
and the extent of the victim’s injuries. In some cases, a victim
of domestic violence will seek protection from their abuser by asking
the court for a
What is a Protective Order?
A victim of domestic violence has the right to ask the court for a protective
order, which is a court order telling the abuser that he or she must STOP
committing sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or family violence.
A protective order can:
- Order an abuser to stop further acts of family violence.
- Order him or her to move out of the family home.
- Order the abuser to pay child and spousal support.
- Order the abuser to attend mandatory counseling.
- Order the abuser to stay away from the victims’ work and school.
If an abuser violates a protective order, a warrant can be issued for his
or her arrest and law enforcement can arrest the abuser and have them
incarcerated. In the case of a violation, excluding an ex parte order,
the offender can face a fine up to $4,000 and they can face up to one
year in jail, or a fine and incarceration.
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criminal defense attorney?
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