Assault Family Member Second (Felony)
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What is an Assault Family Member Second (Felony) Charge?
A first offense Assault Family member charge is a Class A misdemeanor but if you have a prior "conviction" for an Assault and it was committed against a member of your family, household, or someone who you were dating then a second charge can be enhanced to a third degree felony! Prosecutors don't even have to prove that your original conviction was titled Assault Family, Household, or dating relationship if they can prove it by some other means. This means a prior conviction could come back to haunt you and increase your punishment.
Here are the types of judgments that could lead to an enhanced third degree punishment on a second offense for Assault Family member in Texas.
Class C Assault Conviction where you paid a fine only.
Class A Assault Family Member conviction with affirmative finding of family violence.
Class A Assault conviction without an affirmative finding of family violence if the prosecutor can prove at trial of the new offense that the prior conviction was against a member of the defendant's family, household, or a person with whom the defendant was in a dating relationship.
Probation for any of the above offenses that was completed successfully.
Deferred Adjudication probation that was completed successfully and resulted in a dismissal.
Can a judge impose a protective order to kick me out of my own home?
As in a first offense of Assault Family member a judge can issue a protective order that kicks you out of your own home and requires that you comply with certain conditions. Failure to follow the rules in a protective order can lead to additional criminal charges for Violation of a Protective order or VPO.
Protective orders can keep you from doing the following things:
Living in your own home
Having contact with family members including your own children
Going to school functions or sporting events
Speaking with family members of the alleged victim.
A judge can require you to follow these rules for 60-90 days if an Emergency Protective order or EPO is signed and delivered to you. This order is also called a Magistrate's order of Emergency Protection or MOEP.
Conditions like the ones listed above could be imposed on you for longer periods of time through what are called Bond Conditions. A bond condition in a family violence case can subject you to the same kind of criminal liability as a protective order and bond conditions last the entire length of the criminal case. Fighting bond conditions with an experienced attorney is critical because Assault Family Member cases can take years to successfully fight.
How do you fight Assault Family Member Second Felony Charges?
Fighting felony charges can be more difficult than misdemeanor charges. This is because of a rule which allows prosecutors to enter in evidence of a past conviction for family violence in order to prove jurisdiction in felony court. That means that if your case goes to trial they will hear that you have been alleged to have already been convicted of the same offense for which you are now have a trial. This can have a devastating effect on the outcome of your case if you have a lawyer that isn't prepared for this.
A criminal defense attorney should challenge all the evidence in your case including:
Photos and video evidence collected by police and others.
Evidence showing the use of Self Defense
Evidence showing the existence of a mistake or accident
Evidence showing a lack of intent
Is your case dismissed if the victim drops the charges?
No. There is no guarantee that a District Attorney will follow the wishes of the alleged victim in an Assault Family Member case. If the case is a Felony, meaning that there is an alleged prior conviction, the likelihood of a prosecutor dismissing the charge because the victim has recanted is even less likely.
A legal document called an affidavit of non-prosecution is something that can be given to the prosecutor to request a dismissal of charges. You should never talk to the DA yourself to try to get your charges dismissed. The only person in the criminal justice system who's sole duty is to protect your rights is your attorney. Don't face charges like Felony Assault Family Member on your own. Hire an experienced Assault Family Lawyer in Conroe and Houston, Brian Foley.
What is the punishment for Felony Assault Family Member in Texas?
A second of Assault Family Member is classified as a 3rd Degree Felony and has a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
AGGRESSIVE ASSAULT DEFENSE
FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR
MEMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT