Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Domestic Violence
What is the legal definition of “assault” in Texas?
While most people use the word “assault” to refer to a physical attack, the law defines it differently. In Texas, the legal definition of assault includes knowingly or intentionally threatening a victim with physical harm, even if no physical contact is ever made. (Tex. Penal Code § 22.01)
Can I be charged with domestic violence if I’ve never hit or injured a family member?
Yes. According to Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a person may be guilty of domestic assault if he or she deliberately or knowingly threatens another person with imminent bodily harm. Section 22.02 provides that a person is guilty of aggravated domestic assault if he or she makes such threats while using, attempting to use, or otherwise exhibiting a deadly weapon. Texas Penal Code § 25.11 states that a person may only be convicted of continuous violence against family if he or she has committed more than one domestic assault in the previous twelve months, even if prior assaults were against a different victim.
Can I be charged with domestic violence against a dating partner or a child who isn’t mine?
Yes. According to Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b), § 71.003, and §71.005, a person may be charged with domestic violence if the victim falls into one of the following categories:
- Minor or adult child
- Any other relationship based on consanguinity (blood), such as siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
- Current or former spouse
- Child of current or former spouse
- Current or former dating or other romantic partner
- Person with whom the accused has had a child
- Foster child or foster parent
- Cohabitant with the accused
Should I defend myself against domestic violence charges?
Yes. While you are technically permitted to speak on your own behalf in court, this is never a good idea – especially when your future is on the line.
At Lewis & Ashworth, PLLC, we are equipped to provide the strong representation and wise counsel you need during your brush with the criminal justice system. Our McKinney domestic violence defense lawyers understand the heavy burden that domestic violence charges and family conflict place on your shoulders, and we’re here to carry it with you. Allow us to come alongside you and fight for your best interests, starting with a free consultation.
Call 214-856-6130 today to request a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in McKinney.