What is Considered Assault in Texas?
When someone gets charged with assault/family violence, that typically means that an assault occurred against someone in the household. This person could be someone you are living with or someone you have a romantic relationship with. In Texas, “family violence” could apply to an assault between roommates. It could even apply to an alleged assault on a person with whom you’ve only had a single date.
So, what do we investigate these charges as a criminal defense attorney? Well, we want to consider this:
- Does my client have a criminal history –specifically, an assaultive criminal history?
- How bad is the injury?
- Does the complaining witness want to go forward with the prosecution?
What is the Best Defense for a Family Violence Charge?
If all three matters are in favor, there’s a good chance of getting this case dismissed. However, sometimes that isn’t the case, and an experienced lawyer should be able to sit you down and educate you on your options. For instance, in some cases, a viable self-defense claim can be asserted. It is critical to understand your legal options before continuing.
There are varying degrees that determine the severity of an assault.
Simple Assault Against a Family Member or Household Member
According to the Assaultive Offenses Penal Code, simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor. However, domestic simple assault is a 3rd-degree felony if the defendant has had previous domestic assault history or the assault impended breathing in any way. Any type of strangulation escalates the charge to a 3rd-degree felony.
Aggravated Assault Against a Family or Household Member
An assault is an “Aggravated Assault” if the assault resulted in serious bodily injury or if a deadly weapon was used/exhibited during the assault. While an Aggravated Assault is typically a 2nd degree felony, it could escalate to a 1st-degree felony if the defendant used a weapon AND caused serious bodily harm in a domestic assault
Making Threats Against a Family or Household Member
A crime is also committed if a person threatens violence upon a family or household member. This is typically a Class A misdemeanor.
Can Family Violence Charges Be Expunged in Texas?
According to the Texas Bar, you can expunge a family violence charge in Round Rock, Texas, only under specific circumstances. This includes:
- If the case against you was dismissed (not via deferred adjudication) OR
- If you were found not guilty of the offense
If either of these situations applies, you will be able to move forward with the expunction. Many facilities require a background check, whether this is for housing or employment. Even if you aren’t convicted of the charge, these charges still show up on background checks with “charge dismissed” at the very bottom.
People will judge what they’ve read harshly, no matter the outcome of the case. It’s crucial to get an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately upon arrest.
Just because you were arrested does not mean you were guilty of this crime, and having the right attorney in your back pocket may open the door for an expunction down the line. To stand up for your rights, contact the Law Office of Ryan Deck today.