The Three Primary Categories of Domestic Violence in Texas


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Domestic violence is an extremely serious issue in Texas, and the consequences of such a conviction can haunt your future and your future prospects. In the State of Texas, domestic violence charges are divided into three distinct categories. Becoming better informed regarding these distinctions can be important – regardless of the kind of domestic violence charge you are facing. (Click here to learn more about domestic violence charges)

Domestic Assault

Intimate relationship in this context refers to any of the following:

Domestic assault refers to either making a credible threat to imminently injure someone with whom you have an intimate relationship or to engaging in an action that actually injures someone with whom you have an intimate relationship. The threat of violence or the violent act in question – which can include physical contact that the victim reasonably considers offensive or provocative – must be performed with intention, knowledge, or recklessness to meet the legal standard for domestic assault.

Intimate relationship in this context refers to anyone who falls into any of the following categories:

  • A spouse (current or former) (Read about divorce from an abusive spouse)

  • A boyfriend or girlfriend (current or former)

  • The defendant’s children’s other parent

  • A child of the defendant’s current or former spouse

  • A foster child or a foster parent

  • A blood relative or adopted relative of the defendant

  • A roommate

A first conviction for domestic assault is a Class A Misdemeanor, but with a prior conviction, it can become a third-degreeĀ felony.

Aggravated Domestic Assault

Aggravated domestic assault refers to the act of causing a victim to suffer serious bodily injury or to the act of wielding a deadly weapon while carrying out the attack or the threat of an attack inherent to domestic assault. Serious bodily injury in this context refers to a more serious category of injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), disfigurement, the loss of a limb, or other injuries of this magnitude. In this context, a deadly weapon can refer to common weapons, such as knives and guns, but it can also refer to just about anything that can be used as a weapon, such as a golf club, a baseball bat, a length of rope, and more. A conviction for aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony. (Read more about simple vs. aggravated assault in Texas)

Continuous Violence Against the Family

If the defendant in question was charged with a prior act of domestic violence within twelve months of the current charge, he or she may face a charge of continuous violence against the family. Even if the prior charge did not lead to a conviction or to an arrest, the charge of continuous violence against the family can stand. A conviction for continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony.

Consulting with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer Can Help

If you are facing domestic violence charges, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated criminal lawyer who is skilled at zealously defending his clients' constitutional rights and at aggressively advocating for favorable case resolutions. Mr. Pritchard is here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.


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