Assault Family Violence

Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

//Family Violence
Family Violence

Accused of Family Violence?

Texas considers family violence to be a very serious threat to public safety. As a result, the State of Texas and law enforcement prosecute assault charges very aggressively. In Texas, assault can be a misdemeanor or felony offense. Accordingly, assault charges can result in harsh penalties including jail, fines, and probation. However, in many cases, it is possible for a skilled criminal defense lawyer to negotiate a better deal or even have the charges dropped.

If you have been arrested and are facing family violence charges, Contact Haddad Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer experienced in defending against assault charges. Without a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, you may find yourself facing unfair treatment and an impairment of your rights and freedoms.

Police Response

When police respond to an assault, odds are someone is getting arrested.

Stay Calm & Be Polite

Just because someone calls the police doesn’t mean you committed a crime. If you are the one acting out when police arrive, they are much more inclined to believe that you are the aggressor.

Don't Try To Explain

You have the right to remain silent when an officer asks questions.

Don't Get Tricked!

Everything you say to an officer will be used against you if charged with assault. Making excuses or trying to justify things won’t help you.

Proof of Assault?

Let the police do their job and leave the evidence speak for itself.

Make Them Prove It

Very often assault charges come down to one person’s word against another’s. Remember, the State must prove each element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

FAQ About Family Violence

If you have been accused of an assault charge, here are the most common questions we are asked about assault cases. Still have questions? Give us a call!

  1. Is the State going to pick up the charges?

It is more likely than not that the State will file cases involving family violence. Texas takes assault charges very seriously. As a result, the District Attorney’s Office has adopted a “better safe than sorry” approach when filing assault cases. For this reason, prosecutors file assault charges first and ask questions later. While this approach is understandable because it protects the safety of the public, its drawbacks are also significant. Regardless of whether or not the case results in a conviction, assault allegations can have lifelong consequences for those accused.

  1. What if someone doesn’t want to press charges?

Generally speaking, Texas law does not require the complainant’s cooperation in order to successfully prosecute family violence cases. Of course, it is more difficult to prosecute assault charges when a complainant is unavailable or uncooperative. Still, it is more likely than not the State will file assault charges even if the complainant does not want to pursue the case. However, if a complainant does not want to press charges, there are many ways to help with pending assault charges. It is important to note, a person accused of assault charges should never actively request or encourage a complainant to try and have the assault charges dropped. Doing so could result in additional criminal charges being filed.

  1. Does filing an affidavit of non-prosecution help?

Unfortunately, prosecutors do not give much weight to affidavits of non-prosecution. Often, complainants file affidavits of non-prosecution for the wrong reasons. For example, it is not uncommon for complainants to want to continue to work on a relationship after a heated incident has occurred. As a result, complainants may have a change of heart about pursuing assault charges. However, prosecutor’s maintain that their job is to protect the safety of the public even if a complainant does not want to press charges. Even so, that does not mean a complainant should not file an affidavit of non-prosecution if they wish to do so. Affidavits of non-prosecution can be helpful in certain situations. Nevertheless, a complainant filing an affidavit of non-prosecution does not guarantee that the State will drop a pending family violence charge.

What Are My Options?

Just because you may have been accused of family violence does not mean that you have to plead guilty to the charges. There are many ways to avoid an assault-related conviction or even have the case dismissed.

For example, the following is a list of possible ways a family violence case may be dismissed:

  • Pretrial Diversion Programs
  • Conditional Dismissal
  • Class C Reduction
  • Plea and Bar
  • Set the Case for Trial
  • An Acquittal

Don’t Plead Guilty

At Haddad Law Firm, we understand the effects a family violence conviction can have on your life. That’s why our defense lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights when facing such significant charges.

Remember, pleading guilty to any criminal offense results in a permanent conviction, which can never be removed from your record. An assault family violence conviction can affect your life in many ways, even after a case has been resolved.

Pleading guilty to a family violence offense can result in:

  • Damage to Personal / Professional Reputation
  • Deportation / Exclusion from U.S.
  • Housing Restrictions
  • Termination of Employment
  • Denial of Certain College Programs
  • Exclusion from Professional Occupations

Family Violence Charges

Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code establishes what an assault is in Texas. A person commits an offense of assault if:

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

Under Texas law, it does not matter whether or not you intended to threaten or injure another person. Chapter 22 uses the words “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” to describe assault charges. For instance, you can intentionally assault someone if your objective was to cause an assault. Second, you can knowingly commit an assault when you are aware that your conduct is reasonably certain to cause an assault. Comparatively, a person acts recklessly when he is aware of but consciously disregards the risk that an assault will occur.

An assault family violence charge has the same elements of an assault charge under Section 22.01:

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

However, the offense must also meet the criteria of Section 71.004 of the Family Code, which defines “family violence” as:

  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), and (K), 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.

In addition, a conviction for an assault family violence charge also results in an “affirmative finding of family violence.” An affirmative finding of family violence carries additional and more severe consequences than a regular assault charge. For example, an family violence charge can be enhanced to a felony if the person charged has previously been convicted of assault family violence. In addition, but not limited to, an AFFV also results in a lifetime ban against ownership or possession of firearms and ammunition.

Assault family violence charges, regardless of the level of offense, are incredibly serious charges. If you have been accused of family violence, contact our office right away to speak with a criminal attorney about your rights.

Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code establishes what aggravated assault is in Texas. A person commits an offense of aggravated assault if the person commits assault as defined in Section 22.01 and the person:

  1. causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or
  2. uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.

An offense for aggravated assault is a second degree felony. However, an aggravated assault charge is a first degree felony if:

  1. the actor uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to another that constitutes family violence; or
  2. the assault is committed against a public servant, security officer or in retaliation against a prospective witness or informant.

Texas law does not require actual physical contact with another person or bodily injury before someone can be charged with assault. In fact, under Section 22.01(a)(2) of the Texas penal code, a simple verbal threat is considered to be an assault. Similarly, merely causing physical contact that may be considered offensive or provocative with another also constitutes an assault under Section 22.01(a)(3). 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 bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
  3. intentionally or knowingly causes offensive or provacative physical contact with another.

An offense under Section 22.01(a)(2) or 22.01(a)(3) is generally a class C misdemeanor. However, an offense under either of these sections can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor under certain conditions.

Chapter 22 of the Penal Code establishes what is considered an assault in Texas. A person commits an offense of assault if:

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

Under Texas law, it does not matter whether or not you intended to threaten or injure another person. Chapter 22 uses the words “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” to describe assault charges. For instance, you can intentionally assault someone if your objective was to cause an assault. Second, you can knowingly commit an assault when you are aware that your conduct is reasonably certain to cause an assault. Comparatively, a person acts recklessly when he is aware of but consciously disregards the risk that an assault will occur.

An assault family violence charge has the same elements of an assault charge under Section 22.01:

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

However, the offense must also meet the criteria of Section 71.004 of the Family Code, which defines “family violence” as:

  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), and (K), 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.

In addition, a conviction for an assault family violence charge also results in an “affirmative finding of family violence.” An affirmative finding of family violence carries additional and more severe consequences than a regular assault charge. For example, an family violence charge can be enhanced to a felony if the person charged has previously been convicted of assault family violence. In addition, but not limited to, an AFFV also results in a lifetime ban against ownership or possession of firearms and ammunition.

Assault family violence charges, regardless of the level of offense, are incredibly serious charges. If you have been accused of family violence, contact our office right away to speak with a criminal attorney about your rights.

Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code establishes what aggravated assault is in Texas. A person commits an offense of aggravated assault if the person commits assault as defined in Section 22.01 and the person:

  1. causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or
  2. uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.

An offense for aggravated assault is a second degree felony. However, an aggravated assault charge is a first degree felony if:

  1. the actor uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to another that constitutes family violence; or
  2. the assault is committed against a public servant, security officer or in retaliation against a prospective witness or informant.
Texas law does not require actual physical contact with another person or bodily injury before someone can be charged with assault. In fact, under Section 22.01(a)(2) of the Texas penal code, a simple verbal threat is considered to be an assault. Similarly, merely causing physical contact that may be considered offensive or provocative with another also constitutes an assault under Section 22.01(a)(3). 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 bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
  3. intentionally or knowingly causes offensive or provacative physical contact with another.

An offense under Section 22.01(a)(2) or 22.01(a)(3) is generally a class C misdemeanor. However, an offense under either of these sections can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor under certain conditions.

What Client’s Say

Mr. Haddad is a very professional and reliable attorney. He was always quick to my texts/calls whenever I had a question regarding the case. He is very straightforward and honest and will keep you updated with important court dates. I would highly recommend Mr. Haddad.

Rating: ★★★★★
Paul W., Client
He was a court appointed attorney, but man he sure didn’t work as if he was one to me. He is genuinely a good guy inside and out that works hard for you and your case to provide the best outcome. I am more then grateful for him and his services! Two thumbs all the way up!

Rating: ★★★★★
Roberto L., Client
Mr. Haddad Law Firm was sufficient and prompt in handling our case along with answering any concerns we had. We would definitely work with this team again.

Rating: ★★★★★
Perry W., Client

Why Choose Our Firm

At Haddad Law Firm, we understand that facing criminal charges can be stressful and overwhelming. More importantly, we recognize that every case is unique and affects different people in different ways. That’s why we take our job of defending clients against criminal charges very seriously. After all, if your case isn’t the same as everyone elses, why should your lawyer be?

  • We provide honest, effective legal representation at affordable prices.
  • Our attorney and staff are experienced in defending criminal offenses.
  • Let us worry about your case, so you don’t have to!
  • Communicate with your lawyer directly about your circumstances.
  • We keep our clients fully informed about their case progress and updates.
  • If we can’t help you, we will do our best to help you find someone who can.