The Penalties for Domestic Violence in Dallas, Texas

The penalties for domestic violence are never slight no matter which state you are in, but Texas’s penalties for domestic violence are, like most of its criminal sanctions, harsher than most. A domestic violence conviction has the potential to change your life for the worst, which is why it is imperative that you seek the help of a Dallas criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with domestic violence in Texas. The attorneys at Clark Law Group can investigate the charges, assess their accuracy, and build a solid defense in your case with the evidence they have to work with.

Domestic Violence as Defined by Texas Law

According to the Texas Penal Code, § 22.01, § 22.02 and § 25.11, domestic violence is defined as a violent act committed against a family member, an individual with whom the alleged offender has or once had a romantic relationship, another member of the same household, a spouse, a former spouse, the child of a spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom the alleged offender has had one or more children, a foster child, the accused’s foster parent, or a family member by blood, adoption, or marriage. Domestic violence, as defined by the code, involves “knowingly,” “intentionally,” or “recklessly” doing any of the following:

  • Causing another person bodily injury
  • Threatening to commit bodily injury to another person; or
  • Committing an action that the offender knows the victim may perceive as being offensive or provocative.

If you have been accused by any of the aforementioned individuals of committing any of the aforementioned acts, it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense lawyer right away, as the burden of proof lies on you to disprove the allegations.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

As with all crimes, the punishments for domestic violence vary considerably depending on the nature and degree of the offense. For instance, a first time offense that does not involve weapons and that results in minimal bodily injury may be categorized as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $4,000. However, a repeat offender who used weapons to inflict serious bodily injury may be charged with a first-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of between five to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Of course, there is an in-between. The structure for penalties for domestic violence in Texas is outlined below:

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 12-months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $4,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony: A two- to 10-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000;
  • Second-Degree Penalty: A two- to 20-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000; and
  • First-Degree Felony: A five- to 99-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000.

In addition to jail time and a fine, a domestic violence conviction can have a number of other life-changing consequences. For instance, a person with a domestic violence conviction is no longer allowed to carry a weapon, even if the conviction resulted in a misdemeanor. Additionally, depending on the nature of the offense, the offender may have to register as a violent or sexual offender, and, of course, he or she will have a permanent criminal record. A criminal record may prevent the person from getting a job, successfully applying for a place to live, or even sustaining healthy and long-lasting relationships.

Work With a Skilled Attorney to Get the Charges Dropped

If you have been charged with domestic violence, reach out to the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Clark Law Group right away. Our team can perform an in-depth investigation to verify the accuracy of the accusations and to gather the evidence necessary to either reduce the charges of have them dropped entirely. Too many defendants put off hiring a lawyer as they view the hiring of an attorney as an admission of guilt, but that is not the case. By hiring a lawyer, you are simply doing what is necessary to protect your future. Defend your future, and contact our skilled associates today.