Assault Family Violence Texas

The Texas penal code describes assault as-

A person commits an offense if the person;

  1. intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
  2. intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
  3. 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.

What is the meaning of Family Violence for this offense?

Family violence is defined in the Texas Family Code. It is as follows;
Sec. 71.004. FAMILY VIOLENCE. “Family violence” means:
(1) an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;
(2) abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), (K), and (M), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or
(3) dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.

Keep in mind roommates who are NOT in a relationship can be accused assault family violence simply because they live in the same household.

What is the punishment for assault of family member in Texas?

The punishment for an assault family violence is a Class A Misdemeanor which is the same for assault charge.

For a subsequent charge of family violence after already being convicted of assault family violence, the person is facing a 3rd degree felony. This is a big leap from a misdemeanor charge.

For a person charged with even recklessly impeding normal circulation of breath or blood by applying pressure to the throat or neck or blocking a person’s mouth is also a 3rd degree felony.

What is Bodily Injury?

Bodily injury is defined in 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code as follows;

Physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

Physical pain might be difficult to prove if there are no visible marks or bruises soon after the incident. Even if there are self defense should be ruled out before accusing a person of an offense.

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Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.