Austin Aggravated Domestic Assault Lawyer

Aggravated domestic assault is a serious charge in Austin, carrying significant consequences if you are convicted. It usually involves causing serious physical harm or using a dangerous weapon, and it occurs in specific domestic situations, like conflicts with a family member or partner. Understanding the potential penalties, the possible defenses, and the role of a criminal defense lawyer is vital for anyone facing these charges.

You do not have to face these charges alone. The Austin aggravated domestic assault lawyers at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC can aggressively defend you against all types of family violence charges. Call (512) 991-0576 today to schedule a consultation.

What Is Aggravated Domestic Assault?

Assault happens when someone intentionally or knowingly causes physical harm to another, or even just threatens or makes offensive physical contact. Aggravated domestic assault, which falls under the classification of assault family violence in Texas, is a more severe form.

According to Texas Penal Code Section 22.02, aggravated domestic assault occurs when:

  • The assault results in serious physical harm. This isn't just a small injury; it's something much more serious.
  • A weapon that can cause death or serious harm is used or shown during the assault.
  • The assault involves certain relationships – like between family members, those living together, or people in marriage or a romantic relationship.

Relationships Required for Aggravated Domestic Assault Cases

For someone to be considered a family member under Texas law, they must be related by blood (consanguinity) or marriage (affinity), former spouses, parents of the same child, or a foster child and foster parent.

Similarly, a household member means anyone living together or who previously lived together in the same place, regardless of whether or not they are related. If the alleged victim was not living with you, they might not be considered a household member under Texas law.

According to Texas law, a "dating partner" refers to someone with whom the defendant has or had a dating relationship. This relationship is not just any casual or business interaction; it must be romantic or intimate. The law considers the length, nature, and frequency of interaction between the two people to determine if it was a dating relationship.

The Burden of Proof in Aggravated Domestic Assault Cases

Remember, just being charged with aggravated domestic assault doesn't mean someone is automatically guilty. For someone to be found guilty of aggravated domestic assault, a prosecutor must prove a couple of things. They need to show that the assault happened, that it was either severely harmful or involved a dangerous weapon, and that it occurred in a domestic setting. The prosecutor must also demonstrate that the accused did this intentionally or knowingly. This means it wasn't an accident; the person meant to cause harm or scare the other person with a weapon.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Domestic Assault?

A second-degree felony is the typical charge for aggravated domestic assault. This could mean spending anywhere from 2 to 20 years in prison and paying a fine up to $10,000. However, if the situation is more severe, it can be a first-degree felony punishable by 5 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. This happens in cases like when serious bodily harm is caused to certain people (e.g., children) in a domestic situation, or during specific types of assaults, like cases of retaliation.

Potential Defenses in Aggravated Domestic Assault Cases

In Texas, if you're charged with aggravated domestic assault, there are several key defenses that could be important in your case, such as:

  • Self-Defense: One common defense is self-defense. This means you acted to protect yourself from being hurt by someone else. It's about showing that your actions were a necessary response to an immediate threat.
  • Defense of Others: Another related defense is defending others. This involves actions you took to prevent someone else, like a family member or a friend, from getting hurt.
  • Lack of Intent: It is possible to argue that there was a lack of intent, that the defendant didn't mean to commit assault. It suggests that what happened was accidental, not something done on purpose. Sometimes, you might be wrongly accused, and your criminal defense lawyer would focus on proving that the allegations against you are false.
  • Not a Domestic Relationship: Another potential defense is that the alleged victim does not fall into the categories defined by law as a dating partner, family member, or household member. Doing so could be a strong defense in your case, potentially leading to a different evaluation of the charges against you (e.g., a less severe charge).
  • Lack of Evidence: In these cases, the strategy is to show that there isn't enough proof to say for sure that you committed the crime. Each defense is based on the specific details and circumstances of your assault family violence case.

How Austin Aggravated Domestic Assault Lawyers Can Fight Your Charges

An aggravated domestic assault attorney plays an important role in your defense, starting with making sure you fully understand your rights and the nature of the charges against you.

Your lawyer's job is to develop a strategic plan for your defense. This includes gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and creating arguments to challenge every aspect of the prosecution's case against you. They represent you in court, speaking on your behalf, questioning witnesses, and working to show why the charges against you should not stand.

Negotiating plea deals is another aspect of their role. If it's in your best interest, they'll negotiate with prosecutors to reach an agreement that minimizes the impact on you. This is particularly important if the prosecution’s case is strong. Throughout the process, your lawyer is also a source of support and guidance. Dealing with criminal charges can be overwhelming, and your lawyer is there to help you through it, providing reassurance and the peace of mind knowing that a professional is in your corner.

Contact Our Austin Aggravated Domestic Assault Attorneys

If you're facing charges of aggravated domestic assault in Austin, Texas, understanding your legal rights and options is essential. The experienced attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC are here to help you through this challenging time. We’ll work hard to ensure that your side of the story is heard and your rights are protected. Don't handle serious charges like this by yourself; get the professional support you need. You can contact Cofer & Connelly, PLLC by calling (512) 991-0576 or contacting us online for a consultation with an experienced aggravated domestic assault attorney. We’ll fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

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