Are you accused of committing family violence, otherwise known as “domestic violence” in Plano or Dallas, Texas? If you’re like a lot of people, you may not fully understand what constitutes family violence under the law, and the consequences involved.
According to the Texas Family Code, family violence is “an act by a member of a family or household against another member that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm.”
What does “family” include?
- Individuals related by blood, marriage, or former marriage
- Members or former members of the same household, including roommates
- Biological parents and children
- Foster parents and foster children
- People in a current or former romantic or intimate relationship
Family Violence Facts
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 2008 report, “the largest percentage of family violence reports was between married spouses.”
Here are some more findings from the 2008 report:
- There were 193,505 family violence incidents (reported).
- Of the reported incidents, 75 percent of the victims were female.
- The 20 to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of victims.
- 342 officers were assaulted on family violence calls.
- Of the offenders, 77 percent were male, and 23 percent were female.
- The most common weapons in family violence involved the offender’s hands, feet, and fists.
Is There a Protective Order Against You?
Under Texas law, if a spouse or partner is physically abusing a member of their family or household, the victim can file for a court order (Protective Order or PO) that prohibits the abuser from coming near them or contacting them. A PO can order an abuser to: not threaten their spouse or partner or children, to stay away from the people protected in the order, and to not carry a firearm.
Additionally, a judge can order an abuser to pay child support, they can set the terms of visitation with their children, order drug testing, and order the offender to move out of their home, etc. If the offender violates a PO, they will be arrested and face criminal charges. If there are multiple violations, they can lead to felony charges.