Domestic assault is, quite simply, an assault committed against a family or household member. As is the case with assault offenses committed outside of domestic settings, a person does not necessarily need to make physical contact with a victim in order to be charged with domestic assault.
Prior domestic violence convictions or other aggravating factors can make domestic assault a felony offense. People who are convicted of these crimes not only face possible imprisonment and fines, but many other additional consequences that come with having this crime reflected on their criminal records.
Lawyer for Domestic Assault Arrests in Brownsville, TX
Were you arrested in the greater Rio Grande Valley area for an alleged domestic assault? No matter how confident you are in your innocence, do not say anything to authorities until you have first contacted The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .
Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brownsville who aggressively defends clients facing domestic violence charges in Cameron County, Willacy County, and Hidalgo County.
Call 956-504-2211 now to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Domestic Assault in Cameron County
- When can a person be charged with domestic assault?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of this crime?
- Where can I find more information about domestic assault in Brownsville?
Texas Domestic Assault Charges
A person commits the criminal offense of assault under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a) if he or she:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Whereas a violation of Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) is normally a Class A misdemeanor, domestic assault is a third-degree felony if the alleged offense is committed against a person whose relationship to or association with the alleged offender constitutes a dating relationship or being a family or household member and either, and:
- the alleged offender has been previously convicted of an assault offense or criminal homicide offense under Chapter 19 of the Penal Code, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, or continuous violence against the family against a dating partner or family or household member; or
- the alleged offense was committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the alleged victim’s throat or neck or by blocking the alleged victim’s nose or mouth.
When a domestic assault involves all of the elements listed above, the alleged offender will be charged with a second-degree felony. Violations of Texas Penal Code §§ 22.01(a)(2) and 22.01(a)(3) are typically Class C misdemeanor offenses, although an offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(3) becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged victim is an elderly individual or disabled individual.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.02, a person may be charged with aggravated domestic assault if he or she commits any of the violations listed above and either causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse, or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony, but the crime can become a first-degree felony if:
- The offender uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the domestic assault and causes serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to or association with the alleged offender a dating relationship, family, or household member; or
- The offender is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and in discharging the firearm, causes serious bodily injury to any person.
Domestic Assault Penalties in Brownsville
The possible sentence a person can receive if convicted of domestic assault depends on the grade of the alleged offense. Maximum sentences in these cases are generally as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000;
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000;
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000; or
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to possible incarceration and fines, Texas Penal Code § 46.04(b) prohibits a person convicted of domestic assault from possessing a firearm until five years after his or her release from confinement or community supervision. Texas does not allow people to seal or expunge domestic assault convictions.
Domestic Assault Resources in Cameron County
Cameron County District Attorney | Domestic Violence Unit — The goals of the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Division are “to provide specialized prosecution by attorneys trained in domestic violence work.” The Division was created with funding from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Fund. Visit this section of the District Attorney’s Office website to learn more about the goals and staff of the Domestic Violence Division.
Cameron County District Attorney’s Office
964 E. Harrison St.
Brownsville, TX 78520
The National Domestic Violence Hotline | The Hotline — The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The Hotline identifies itself as “the only 24/7 center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S.” In addition to ways to get help, the website also includes information about abuse, healthy relationships, and ways to get involved.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. | Brownsville Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested for an alleged domestic assault anywhere in South Texas, it is in your best interest to not make any statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. represents individuals in communities throughout Hidalgo County, Cameron County, and Willacy County.
Brownsville criminal defense attorney Jonathan Gracia understands the most effective ways to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed because of his prior experience as an Assistant District Attorney for the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.
You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 956-504-2211 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.