Domestic violence allegations are always taken seriously in Texas. Certain claims can, however, make the repercussions of a domestic violence accusation even more devastating. If, for instance, an alleged victim claims that a domestic violence incident included an act of strangulation, the defendant’s charges could be enhanced to felony assault family violence. For help defending yourself against unfair charges of domestic violence, or to learn more about how to build a strong case, please call a member of our dedicated Houston domestic violence legal team today.
Felony Assault Family Violence
Under Texas law, someone who is accused of domestic violence and who has no prior criminal history will usually end up facing Class A misdemeanor charges. These charges will be enhanced, however, to a third degree felony if the accused allegedly intentionally or recklessly impeded the accuser’s normal breathing or circulation by:
- Applying pressure to the throat or neck; or
- Blocking the person’s nose or mouth.
Allegations of this nature include everything from putting someone else in a headlock to placing one’s hands on someone’s neck. These kinds of cases tend to be even more complex than standard domestic violence cases, as they often come down to verbal allegations with no physical proof.
Proving Family Violence Assault
Allegations of domestic violence-related strangulation or suffocation tend to be much stronger if there is physical evidence that backs up those claims. If, for instance, a police officer’s report indicates that there were red spots on the victim’s face or neck at the time of arrest, that there were abrasions or bruising under his or her chin, or that the victim spoke with a raspy voice, it is much more likely that the allegations will stick, especially if there are pictures of the injuries. This type of evidence, however, is not always conclusive, so it’s a good idea for those who have been accused of this offense, to speak with an attorney about the specific facts of their case.
Penalties for a Felony Assault Family Violence Conviction
Defendants who are convicted of third degree felony family violence could face imprisonment for between two and ten years and a fine of $10,000. If, however, a defendant qualifies as a repeat and habitual offender, certain enhancements will apply, including up to 20 years imprisonment and stricter requirements for probation.
Speak with a Texas Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are facing charges of family violence, including felony assault, you may need the help of an experienced Houston domestic violence lawyer who can help you present a strong defense. Similarly, if you were the victim of assault and are concerned about your family’s safety, you should have an attorney on your side who can help protect you. These situations are always difficult to navigate. There can be many outcomes to these situations including counseling, separation, divorce, and more. For help with your own case, or to speak with an experienced Houston domestic violence lawyer about your domestic violence-related questions and concerns, please call The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling (281) 280-0100 or by completing one of our online contact forms.