New Texas Law for Assault on a Pregnant Woman
Texas lawmakers recently changed the classification and, therefore, penalties for perpetrators of assault on a pregnant woman. These changes were made in hopes of deterring such assault and were fueled by concerning statistics as well as personal stories.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 56 percent of people reported nonfatal domestic violence situations over a 10-year period. Over 320,000 pregnant women are estimated to be abused by their partners, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Furthermore, for one in six abused women, their abuse started during a pregnancy.
If you are being charged with domestic assault and your partner is pregnant, this new law could make your charges more complicated. Seeking the legal counsel of a skilled Frisco criminal defense attorney could help your charges to be dropped or reduced, decreasing the penalties you could receive.
Assault on Pregnant Women in Texas Now a Felony Charge
House Bill 902, introduced by Texas Rep. Brooks Landgraf, an Odessa Republican, was signed into law in June of 2019 by Governor Greg Abbott. This law went into effect on September 1, 2019.
The new Texas law makes it a felony to assault a pregnant woman, and if convicted, abusers could receive between two and ten years in prison. The law only applies if the suspect knew or should have known the woman was pregnant at the time of the assault. Offenses that now classify as a third-degree felony were previously categorized into a broader type of assault, which is a class A misdemeanor with penalties of up to a year in county jail.
Common Defenses for Assault on a Pregnant Woman Charges
When you hire a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Frisco, you are hiring someone well-versed in defense strategies for assault. Your attorney can potentially apply these to your case:
- Self Defense: You were threatened with harm with no reasonable chance of removing yourself from the situation
- Defense of Others: Similar to the self-defense strategy but another person was threatened with harm, and you were defending them
- Defense of Property: Acting in defense of property that is being invaded or withheld illegally
- Consent: If an individual consented to an act then generally it cannot be asserted as assault
Applicable defenses are different in every case. It is essential to speak to an attorney to determine which ones apply or would be the most successful under your circumstances. There may even be additional defenses that could be used to fight your charges in court.
Call an Experienced Frisco Criminal Defense Lawyer
With stricter laws and penalties for those convicted of assault on a pregnant woman charges, you need a lawyer who is not afraid to fight charges on your behalf. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Frisco can help you if you have been charged with assault on a pregnant woman or any other assault charge. A strong defense is vital to your case. Without one, the maximum penalty could be applied if you are convicted of this crime. For legal counsel you can trust, contact attorney Brent D. Bowen at (940) 222-2488 or via the online contact form. Schedule your consultation today.