Any Houston resident who lives with a romantic partner or family member can face a charge related to domestic violence.
Tempers can flare between people who are close to each other. If the authorities get called and determine that one person touched the other party involved, they may make an arrest and turn the matter over to the prosecutor for charges.
Generally speaking, Texas law punishes a domestic assault the same way it would other assaults.
For example, if a person is accused of touching their romantic partner and causing any injury, including pain, then they may face a Class A Misdemeanor assault charge.
In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor can land a person in jail for one year and lead to a $4,000 fine. One should keep in mind that this would be the potential penalty for someone with no criminal history and no other aggravating circumstances.
Many judges and prosecutors may also opt for probation with strict terms like a protective order or mandatory counseling. Protective orders in particular can affect a person’s life. They may even require a person to move out of their home for months.
Even if jail is off the table, pleading guilty to family violence has a wide impact
Many times, prosecutors are willing to give someone accused of domestic violence but with no prior history another chance. They may offer a deal that does not involve jail time or other more serious consequences.
However, before signing a deal, residents of the Houston area should be aware that convictions related to domestic violence carry serious penalties beyond criminal court:
- Those who own or use firearms may lose their right to do so.
- Those who are subject to family court orders may lose their ability to have decision-making authority over their kids or even to see them.
- Non-citizens may face deportation even for a single offense related to domestic violence.
- There are other significant professional and personal consequences to having even one incident of domestic violence on one’s permanent criminal record.
The bottom line is that anybody, especially a first-time defendant who otherwise has a robust professional and personal life, should carefully consider their legal options before agreeing to accept a conviction related to domestic violence.