DENTON, TX – While many families had just finished celebrating Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, one Denton father was spending what was left of the holiday weekend behind bars for the way he treated his teenage daughter.
On Sunday, Nov. 31, Denton officers were called to a home in the 2000 block of Brooklake Street after receiving a domestic disturbance call about a 64-year-old man who slapped and punched his 17-year-old daughter.
When officers arrived at the scene, the girl's father admitted to punching his daughter multiple times out of anger, according to the police report. The suspect was arrested on the spot and the police called Child Protective Services to take the teenage girl, the Denton Chronicle reported.
What is family violence?
It is more than likely that the Denton man in the story described above will be charged with family violence, which is often referred to as "domestic violence" in other states.
Under Sec. 71.004 of the Texas Family Code, family violence refers to violence between family members or household members that results in:
- Bodily injury
- Physical harm
- Sexual assault
In addition to causing physical harm, family violence includes a threat that places the family or household member in fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury. However, family violence does not include using self-defense measures to protect oneself against violent acts.
Penalties for Family Violence
Often, a family violence case begins with a 911 call to the individual's place of residence. If you are arrested, it is up to the prosecution whether or not you face criminal charges.
In some cases, it's a neighbor who places the call and the victim does not want to press charges, but the prosecutor decides to move forward with the case anyways.
On a first offense for family violence, the defendant faces up to 1 year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine. However, second and subsequent offenses incur greater penalties. A first offense is a Class A misdemeanor, whereas a second offense is classified as a felony.