Domestic violence is always a serious charge, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted, the judge could sentence you to prison, charge a hefty fine, and more. Additionally, a domestic violence conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, making it hard to find employment and housing. It can also impact your relationship with your children and your standing in the community.
With so much at stake, you do not want to face the judge and jury alone. Instead, you need an Austin domestic violence lawyer by your side to negotiate with prosecutors and defend you in court if the case goes to trial. Begin by scheduling a consultation with our firm today.
The Texas penal code has three categories for domestic violence. You can be charged with:
Domestic assault is the least serious of the three, although the state can escalate it to a felony if you have previous charges or convictions on your record. Contact our Austin domestic violence lawyer to discuss your misdemeanor or felony charges.
Domestic assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor, although it’s escalated to a third-degree felony under certain circumstances. You can be charged with this if you’ve allegedly threatened violence or were violent toward someone with whom you share an intimate relationship.
If you allegedly threatened harm, you will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a fine of up to $500. However, the charge is escalated to a Class A misdemeanor if the victim allegedly suffered bodily injury. In that case, you’ll face a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail.
Finally, the state can charge you with a third-degree felony if you meet one of two conditions. First, you can get a felony charge if you have prior domestic violence convictions on your record, or second, if you allegedly suffocated or strangled the victim. If convicted, you face up to a $10,000 fine and ten years in prison.
The burden of proof is on the state, so a charge and conviction are not the same. Thus, consult with an Austin domestic violence lawyer to go over a legal strategy.
If you’re accused of using a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury, you can be charged with aggravated domestic assault. Generally, this is a second-degree felony but escalates to a first-degree felony if you allegedly caused serious bodily injury while using a deadly weapon. If convicted of either charge, you face a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, you can be sentenced to up to 20 years for a second-degree felony and up to 99 years for a first-degree felony conviction.
Your Austin domestic violence lawyer will review the case to see if it meets the criteria for aggravated domestic assault. If the prosecutor’s case is flimsy, the attorney can attempt to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
The state can charge you with continuous violence if you have been charged with domestic assault at least twice in the least 12 months. This is true even if you were not convicted of either charge. Continuous violence is charged as a third-degree felony, and if convicted, you face up to a decade in prison. It’s also worth noting that the charges don’t have to be from the same person for you to get charged with continuous violence. This is an extremely serious charge, so you need proper legal counsel. Contact an Austin domestic violence lawyer to discuss your case.
Texas has a statute of limitations in place for all criminal charges, including domestic violence. You can be charged with a misdemeanor up to two years after the date of the alleged incident. However, if you’re being charged with a felony, prosecutors have up to three years to build the case and charge you. If you are worried about potential charges, you can consult with an Austin domestic violence lawyer.
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