Domestic Abuse on the Rise During Stay-at-Home Order?
Stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine can be stressful for anyone. Tempers run hot, and couples who used to get along may start fighting, and sometimes that can get physical. With social distancing recommendations during the month of April 2020, it wasn’t easy for someone to leave their home to blow off some steam or seek a safe place to stay for the night or the foreseeable future. This is a similar behavior of many victims of domestic violence. They feel trapped with their abusers, and there was a reported surge in domestic violence reports after quarantine measures began.
The number of reports has since dropped according to news sources, and this may be due to a feeling of helplessness and fear of retaliation from abusers if victims believe they have nowhere to go. Domestic violence advocates do not believe that the risk has subsided and encourage victims to continue to report incidents of violence at home and call the police if needed. However, what is Domestic Violence, and can someone be wrongly convicted of it during such stressful situations?
Domestic Violence Allegations in Texas
Assault becomes domestic assault when the offender and victim have a specific relationship. Such relationships include:
- Current spouse or ex-spouse
- Child or stepchild
- Parents of the same child
- Current intimate partner or ex-partner
- Foster parents and children
- Family members by blood, adoption, or marriage
- Household members
There are different charges that might be issued for domestic assault, each with its own elements and potential penalties.
Domestic assault involves recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally causing bodily injury to someone else, threatening imminent bodily injury, or engages in physical contact that is offensive or provocative. If you have no previous domestic assault convictions, you can face Class A misdemeanor charges, which can mean up to one year in jail. If you have a past conviction, you can face third-degree felony charges and two to ten years in prison if you are convicted.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
Aggravated domestic assault might be charged when someone recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally causes serious bodily injury to someone else or displays or uses a deadly weapon in the course of any assault offense. This charge is often a second-degree felony, which comes with penalties including two to 20 years in prison. If the prosecutor alleges you had a deadly weapon AND caused serious bodily injury, you can face first-degree felony charges and a possible five to 99 years in prison.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
If someone commits two or more domestic assault charges within 12 months, they can also be convicted of continuous violence against the family. This is a third-degree felony and can mean two to ten years in prison.
Contact a Frisco and Lewisville, Texas, Criminal Defense Attorney
While domestic assault is a grave concern for many people, especially during stressful situations, there can still be false reports and accusations, which can lead to wrongful charges. If you have been arrested and accused of any type of domestic assault offense, you want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in Lewisville and Frisco on your side. To speak with the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, about your case, please call 940-222-2488 or contact us online right away.