No two families are the same and each has a very different family dynamic. Some family dynamics do not work as well as other and there is friction or abuse between family members. Domestic violence is defined as an act committed by one family member or member of a household against another member of that family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, injury, assault, sexual assault, or the mere threat of any of the above. Self defense usually does not fall under this category. In Texas, the state recognizes different levels of domestic violence including: domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, and continuous violence against the family. Each fall under the above definition, but have a few variations.
THE TYPES OF DOMESTIC ASSAULT
Domestic Assault is committed when a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes another family member bodily injury or threatening some sort of bodily injury to another member of the family. Any physical contact with another family member that the person in question knows that they will find offensive falls under this category. Injuries that fall under this category include minor injuries such as: bumps, minor scratches/cuts and bruises. Domestic Assault is a Class A misdemeanor if the person in question has not committed any counts of assault prior the event. If the offender has had prior domestic assault counts, the crime could be considered a third degree felony.
Aggravated Domestic Assault is committed when a person partakes in an act of assault against a spouse, family member or romantic partner and causes them serious bodily harm or injury. The crime is also considered to be aggravated domestic assault if the person uses or threatens to use any sort of deadly weapon in the course of committing the assault. A motor vehicle can also fall under the category of deadly weapon. Injuries that can fall under this classification of domestic assault include: broken bones, head injuries, or any injury that requires hospitalization or surgery. The first count of aggravated domestic assault is usually a first degree felony. If there are several counts against a person, the crime is a second degree felony.
Continuous Violence Against the Family is charged if a family member commits two or more domestic assaults in the same year against a member of their family, they can be convicted of the crime of continuous violence against the family. The prior counts of domestic assault do not have to have resulted in arrest or conviction to be counted towards continuous violence against the family and the acts do not have to be directed at the same victim. This crime is a third degree felony.
A victim in a case of domestic assault may require compensation for medical treatments, counseling, or repairing any lost or damaged property during the act of assault. In this case, the offender may have to pay the victim the needed restitution.
If you or a family member has been involved in a case with domestic assault, whether you be the victim or offender, the Kyle Law Firm can help. We handled cases in personal injury as well as criminal defense. Whatever your legal needs are, we can offer legal counsel. Contact our office to set up a consultation today!