Assault family violence is just a type of assault. It has the same elements as all other assaults. What makes it different is that a judge makes a finding of family violence if the alleged victim was a member of the accused’s household as defined by the Family Code.
What conduct constitutes assault:
-intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
-intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;
-intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the -other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Who is considered to be a family member?
-a current or former spouse
-a child of a current or former spouse
-a person with whom the offender has a child or children
-a foster child or foster parent of the offender
-a family member of the offender by blood, marriage, or adoption
-someone with whom the offender lives, and
-a person with whom the offender has or had an ongoing dating or romantic relationship.
Consequences of family violence finding:
The finding of family violence has several consequences that do not apply to regular assaults. First, an affirmative finding of family violence means that even if the Defendant pleads guilty and gets a deferred adjudication probation, he will not be eligible to get a petition for non-disclosure to seal the arrest off his record. Second, if the Defendant is convicted of a second family violence offense, that new offense will automatically be classified as a felony even if it would normally be classified as a misdemeanor.
What are some defenses to assault family violence?
-Defense of others or property;
-Show that the evidence is insufficient to prove the incident happened,
These types of cases are extremely sensitive and delicate.