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When Does a Simple Assault Charge Become a Domestic Assault Charge?

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Mintzer Law

Domestic violence cases are taken very seriously, and if a person is found guilty, a conviction can affect their life in a variety of ways. The best thing a person can do when they first see they are brought up on charges of this kind is to begin building their defense. The first thing a person can do is take comfort in the fact that the alleged victim of the domestic abuse must be able to prove the accusations are true. There are a variety of clear signs that a person is about to be accused of domestic violence, and this is when defensive action must begin.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence

Certain requirements must be met before a case can be labeled as domestic violence, and some of these acts include:

  • Assault
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Stalking
  • Burglary

If any of these acts are committed, it is often considered domestic violence by the legal system. Punishments for those found guilty of this type of crime include lengthy prison sentences, fines and the inability to obtain certain jobs, such as that of a police officer.

The Type of Person Involved in the Case

While assault can be committed against anyone, there are only certain individuals who make the courts turn a case into domestic violence. According to the Texas Penal Code, these people include:

  • Those who currently live together in the same household
  • Those who previously lived in the same household
  • Those who are dating or married
  • Those who have or will have a child together

Whenever a harmful or intimidating act is committed against one of those people, it is considered domestic violence. Courts will often alter the charges if a defendant can prove that the alleged victim is not someone with whom they have a close relationship.

Restraining Orders

When a restraining order is filed after two people have a disagreement, this is sometimes an indication that domestic violence accusations are imminent. For a defendant who is innocent, a restraining order can be a complete surprise if no actions warrant it. A person can request a restraining order with only minimal evidence presented to the court, and this leaves defendants in fear of more unwarranted accusations.

Trust in the Truth

As with all cases, domestic violence charges must be proven before a person can be convicted. A person who is falsely charged with this type of crime should hire a skilled domestic assault attorney who can pick apart the prosecution’s case and help the defendant retain their good name and record.

For more information about domestic violence charges, schedule a free case evaluation with Rand Mintzer at 713-862-8880.