Domestic violence allegations can have severe consequences, legally, professionally, and personally. In
the heart of Texas, we understand the complexities surrounding these cases, and we’re here to help you
navigate through them.
At The Castro Law Office, we are dedicated to providing unwavering support and aggressive defense for
individuals facing domestic violence charges in Bexar County and the greater San Antonio area . With
decades of experience and a deep understanding of Texas laws, our team of skilled legal professionals is committed to safeguarding your rights, preserving your reputation, and securing your future.
What is Domestic Violence in Texas?
Domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behavior within certain types of relationships. It
encompasses various forms of physical, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse, aimed at gaining
power and control over another person within the household.
The State of Texas defines domestic violence as any act committed by one member of a family or
household against another member that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or
the fear of imminent harm. This includes acts such as hitting, slapping, punching, choking, or any form of physical abuse. Depending on the severity of harm, domestic violence may be classified as a
misdemeanor or a felony.
What are the Types of Relationships Covered under Texas Domestic Violence Statutes?
In Texas, domestic violence protections extend to a range of relationships, including but not limited to:
- Spouses: This includes legally married couples.
- Former Spouses: Even after divorce, domestic violence protections may still apply,
particularly if the relationship resulted in children.
- Partners in a Dating Relationship: Individuals who are in a romantic relationship,
whether or not they are living together, can be protected under domestic violence laws.
- Family Members: This covers blood relatives, adoptive relatives, and individuals related
by marriage. It can include parents, children, siblings, and any other relatives residing in the
- Household Members: Individuals who share a residence, even if they aren’t related by
blood or marriage, can also be protected. This can encompass roommates or unrelated
individuals living together.
How is Domestic Assault Classified Under Texas Law?
Domestic assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case.
Misdemeanor domestic assault is a Class C misdemeanor if it involves threats of harm or what’s
considered “provocative or offensive contact”. If Class C misdemeanor domestic assault leads to bodily
injury, it can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor assault, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Felony domestic assault is any assault involving injury (if the defendant has prior domestic assault
convictions) or an assault that involved strangulation or suffocation. Those types of domestic assault are
classified as third degree felonies, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.
Texas Penal Code sections 12.21, 12.23, 12.34, and 22.01 provide further detail on the types of actions
that are classified as domestic assault and the potential penalties that can be levied.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in San Antonio, Texas?
The penalties for domestic violence or assault depend on the circumstances. If a person commits
“aggravated domestic assault”, assault that causes serious bodily injury and involves the use or
exhibition of a deadly weapon, they can be charged with a first-degree felony. Domestic assaults involving deadly weapons and resulting in serious bodily injury can be punished by 5
to 99 years in prison. “Serious bodily injury” includes any injury that requires hospitalization or surgery,
like a broken bone, serious lacerations, concussion or skull fracture, and other injuries that warrant
immediate medical attention.
If aggravated domestic assault does not involve a deadly weapon, it’s instead classified as a second-
degree felony, which can be punished by 2 to 20 years in prison.
What are the Best Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in San Antonio?
Although domestic violence charges are serious and can sometimes leave the defendant facing decades
in prison, these cases can be challenging to prosecute. There are a number of potential defenses that
can be raised, including:
People who are facing imminent injury have the right to use reasonable force to protect themselves.
And when someone is charged with domestic violence, it’s often just after a fight, where tempers are
high and accusations are flying—police and prosecutors may not yet know the whole story when they
file charges. If you can show that any actions that led to the other person’s injury were taken to protect yourself from imminent injury, you could have a viable defense of self-defense.
False accusations or mistakes in identity can happen, even in domestic violence cases where there is a
relationship between the accuser and the person being accused.
For someone to be found guilty of domestic abuse, the prosecution must prove their case “beyond a
reasonable doubt”. This requires enough evidence that the judge or jury can have no reasonable doubts
as to the defendant’s guilt. If there’s not enough admissible evidence to allow the fact-finder to reach
this conclusion, the defendant must be acquitted.
There are a number of additional potential defenses available, some of which may apply to your case.
It’s crucial to enlist the services of a domestic violence lawyer as soon as you can; your attorney can
thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure that all potential defenses are raised.
Get in Touch with a San Antonio Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence charges can disrupt your life, jeopardize your reputation, and have lasting legal
consequences. At The Castro Law Firm, we’re committed to helping you understand your rights, explore
potential defenses, and provide you with the robust legal representation and domestic violence defense
When you choose The Castro Law Firm, you’re choosing a domestic violence defense lawyer who will stand by your side, fighting relentlessly for your rights and your future. Schedule a consultation with a Bexar County Domestic Violence defense lawyer and take the first step toward a brighter tomorrow.