Parker County - TX
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Law Offices Of Richard C. McConathy
Domestic assault or spousal abuse is one of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Weatherford. Family violence assault allegations can arise from a number of situations, including arguments that have escalated out of control, divorce disputes, and child custody disagreements.
A conviction for domestic assault can result in serious penalties, including jail or prison sentences, fines, a criminal record, an inability to own or possess a firearm, and a possible protective order. Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Parker County who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and consequences of your alleged offense.
If you have been charged with domestic assault in Weatherford, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Johnson, Wise, Ellis, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ family violence laws and will make effort to fight the allegations against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (817) 458-3226 about your alleged family violence assault.
Domestic assault allegations often arise when an individual commits an assault against a family member. A family member is defined under Texas law as anyone who is related by blood or by marriage, former spouses, parents of the same child, foster parents, and step-parents.
An individual can also be charged with domestic assault if they commit an assault against a household member. Texas law defines a household member as anyone who resides or previously resided in the same home, such as roommates.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, an individual can be charged with domestic assault if they
As defined in the Tex. Penal Code § 22.02, an individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit domestic assault against their spouse or family member and:
An individual who is charged with a domestic assault offense by threatening bodily injury or threatening to cause offensive physical contact can receive a conviction for a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $500.
An individual who is charged with a first domestic assault offense by causing bodily injury to a family member or spouse can receive a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
An individual who is charged with a domestic assault offense by causing bodily injury to a family member or spouse that has previously been convicted of a violent offense against the family member can lead to a conviction for a felony of the third degree, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual who is charged with a domestic assault offense by strangling their spouse or family member, or otherwise stops the normal breathing or blood circulation of their spouse by applying pressure to the neck or throat or blocking their nose or mouth, can result in a conviction for a felony of the third degree. This degree of domestic assault is punishable by two to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the alleged offender has a history of family violence, this offense can increase to a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual charged with aggravated domestic assault can be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual who is charged with aggravated domestic assault by using a deadly weapon during the offense and causing serious bodily injury to their spouse or family member can be convicted of a felony of the first degree. A conviction for this degree of offense is punishable by five years to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Whereas simple assault in Texas is typically a Class A misdemeanor, the criminal charge is elevated to a third-degree felony when the alleged victim of the assault is either a person who was in a dating relationship with the alleged offender, a family member, or a household member. The Texas Family Code has specific definitions for these terms.
Under Texas Family Code § 71.0021, dating violence is defined as an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an alleged offender that:
The statute further states that a dating relationship is defined as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a “dating relationship.”
Under Texas Family Code § 71.003, the term family includes individuals related by consanguinity (one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor) or affinity (if two individuals are married to each other or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual), individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together
Texas Family Code § 71.005 establishes that the term household means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other. Under Texas Family Code § 71.006, a member of a household includes a person who previously lived in a household.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a person commits the crime of assault if they:
Texas Penal Code § 22.02 states that a person commits an aggravated assault when they commit an assault and cause serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or use or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(17), a deadly weapon is defined as a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) defines a bodily injury as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46), a serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Whereas an aggravated assault is typically a second-degree felony, aggravated domestic assault is often a first-degree felony because it usually involves causing serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to the alleged offender is described as a dating relationship, family, or household member. The criminal charge can also be elevated if the alleged offense is committed:
Finally, the crime can also be elevated to a first-degree felony if the alleged offender was in a motor vehicle, and knowingly discharged a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, was reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and in discharging the firearm, caused serious bodily injury to any person.
State v. Eakins, 71 SW 3d 443 — The Court of Appeals of Texas in Austin noted that assault with bodily injury, ordinarily a class A misdemeanor, is a third-degree felony if the offense is committed against a member of the defendant’s family or household if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense against a member of the defendant’s family or household under this section. The question presented in this appeal was how the State can prove, in a prosecution for assaulting a family member, that the defendant has previously been convicted of assaulting a family member and is, therefore, guilty of a felony pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(2). Jesse Lee Eakins moved to suppress all evidence in his previous conviction for assaulting a family member in Tom Green County and his motion was granted, but the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order. The Court of Appeals held that in a prosecution pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(2), the absence of an article 42.013 affirmative finding in a judgment of conviction for a previous assault does not in itself preclude the introduction of extrinsic evidence that the previous assault was committed against a family member.
Manning v. State, 112 SW 3d 740 — Charles Edward Manning, Jr. appealed his felony assault conviction, arguing the trial court erred by denying the appellant’s motion to quash the indictment, and the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to prove he assaulted a household member. A jury found Manning guilty and sentenced him to 50 years’ confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division. The Court of Appeals of Texas in Houston affirmed the trial court’s judgment, ruling that the trial court’s denial of the appellant’s motion to quash the indictment was not an abuse of discretion, and Manning could not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the complainant was a household member at the time of the 1996 assault because Manning’s plea of “true” to the enhancement paragraph in the present indictment relieved the State of its burden of proof on this point. The evidence adduced at trial was legally and factually sufficient to prove the complainant was a household member at the time of the 2001 assault.
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your domestic assault allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is a knowledgeable Dallas domestic violence lawyer who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your particular offense.
Call (817) 458-3226 or fill out an online form right now for a consultation about your domestic assault charges throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County and Tarrant County.
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