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Assault of a Family Member

Charged with Assaulting a Family Member?
Understand Your Rights!

Any action that would be deemed an assault committed against a child, live-in family member, or romantic partner will be classified as assault on a family member. Assaults are typically classified as Class C misdemeanors are upgraded to Class A when committed against family members. This means that the full range of misdemeanor assault charges (ranging from physical threats to minor bodily injury imposed on the victim) are all punishable with a maximum sentence of $4,000 fines and a year of prison.

If you have been charged with assault against a family member, contact Houston criminal defense lawyer Samuel M. Gardner at (713) 448-0303.

First Time Offenses

For first time offenses, judges will typically issue a protective order called a Magistrates Order for Emergency Protection (MOEP). When a family member is victimized, a judge will often place a restraining order against the abuser, even if the victim does not want them to. A MOEP can be removed if the victim appeals to the judge who passed the sentence, but it’s up to the judge’s discretion whether or not to lift the penalty.

To be charged for family assault, the prosecution has to determine one of the following about the defendant:

  • Willfully made physical contact with another family member in a way they regard as offensive or sexually threatening.
  • Willfully caused physical injury to the family member.

Bodily injury doesn’t have to be visible to prosecute the defendant. The victim simply needs to prove the injury resulted in personal harm in some way. Injury can include actions that instill fear, anxiety, or mental anguish.

Penalties for Assault Against a Family Member

Being found guilty of assault against a family member will result in a permanent blemish on your record. A conviction also means automatically having your right to own a gun immediately revoked. This is true even in misdemeanor cases. To restore your gun ownership rights, you will need to wait several years, be put on probation, or be subject to community supervision. Community supervision often means additional court costs, probation, and other clauses attached by the judge.

For repeat offenders, charges become proportionally grimmer. If you have been charged with domestic violence in the past, each new case will be charged as a felony. A second offense is charged as a third-degree felony. The penalties can include time in prison and a $10,000 fine. Prison time can be awarded anywhere from 2 to 10 years depending on the severity of the circumstances.

You Can Fight These Charges

Assault against a family member is taken very seriously in Texas. It may feel like no one is on your side, but you are innocent until proven guilty and are entitled to have a lawyer fight on your behalf. Samuel M. Gardner is an experienced Houston assault & battery attorney. He wants to hear your side of the story and can help you defend your rights.

Contact Samuel M. Gardner Attorney at Law today to schedule a consultation.


Take a look at our results.
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury / Injury to Public Servant
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Mistrial / Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Evading Arrest
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Felony Evading Arrest
  • Dismissed Accused of Forgery Government Financial Instrument
  • Dismissed Accused of Injury to Elderly
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of a Controlled Substance 28-200g

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