Domestic Violence & Forms of Family Assault-Related Crimes
Domestic violence seems to have become something of an epidemic in the Houston metropolis and throughout Texas state as a whole. In response to these, law enforcement agencies and courts are cracking down in an effort to demonstrate zero tolerance to domestic violence. This is true specifically in Texas, where crimes of family violence are taken with extreme seriousness. According to Attorney Joseph Gagliardi, someone is always going into custody if police get a domestic violence call.
If you or someone you know is arrested on domestic violence charges, you could find yourself in store for an emotionally volatile legal drama that can potentially alienate you from your family. Prosecutors show no mercy when it comes to family violence crimes. In Houston, family violence charges can seriously hurt your career, separate you from family, hurt your reputation, and possibly ruin your life.
Alarmingly, Texas doesn’t have a specific statute for domestic violence. Most family violence charges often involve assaultive offenses according to Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. That said, allegations of domestic violence are an area where individuals are likely to be accused falsely. This is common if the accusations are made during child custody disputes or impending divorce. Because of these reasons, it is extremely important to understand what precisely domestic violence is.
In this article, you will learn about domestic violence and what is commonly considered to be a domestic violence crime. Remember, the article content cannot substitute a knowledgeable Houston criminal defense lawyer.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence brings the image of physically harming another person. While it might be true in most parts of the world, it is not the case in the Lone Star State. In Texas criminal laws, domestic violence includes both physical and non-physical forms, which may be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details of the incident.
Essentially, domestic violence, also known as family violence, refers to any violent or abusive act committed by a household member against another. This means it can be physical harm or any behavior that is controlling or threatening. Texas Domestic Violence Laws apply to spouses, individuals related by blood or affinity, and any kind of intimate relationship, provided the accused and the victim are living together or dating.
In Texas, domestic violence is a crime that prosecutors pursue full force and will proceed with it even when the alleged victim changes their story to tell how the defendant is genuinely innocent and wants the case to be dismissed. In the long run, the defendant may suffer harsh felony charges, even if they were falsely accused following a heated verbal conflict with a family member.
Forms of Domestic violence
In Texas, domestic violence is far more than causing physical harm to another person. The most common forms of abuse that fall under domestic violence include:
This is the most common and justifiable form of domestic violence. It refers to any violent behavior inflicted on the victim forcefully, causing an injury. Physical abuse includes violent acts like choking, shooting, stabbing, kicking, punching, biting, hitting, and slapping. Even if the act causes negligible harm to the victim, the law considers it domestic violence.
This form of domestic violence is more common than most people would imagine. It occurs when the accused uses force or attempts to use force that results in sexual contact or sexual behavior without the victim’s consent. Allegations cover acts like rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
Emotional abuse covers any act that destroys, invalidates, or deflates the victim’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Such actions may include insults, humiliation, and persistent criticism and are common in unhealthy relationships. Oftentimes, this form of family violence occurs along with other types of abuse.
Economic or Financial Abuse
This type of abuse is common where family finances are managed under a joint bank account and occurs when the accused makes the victim financially reliant. It can also include preventing a family member from obtaining a job or pursuing a course outside the house.
Psychological abuse: Any intimidating, threatening, or fear-causing behaviors that are persistent enough to cause psychological problems can be classified as domestic violence. However, psychological abuse may not be sufficient on its own.
Domestic violence cases are too emotional, which makes the entire criminal offense complex. If you are charged with a domestic violence-related crime, it is imperative to get a criminal defense lawyer to provide you with the proper legal counsel and support. That way, you can escape the harsh consequences of Texas’s unforgiving criminal justice system.