What are the Possible Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge?

Domestic violence is essentially assault with special conditions because the victim is a family member or someone with whom you have had a romantic relationship. There are many consequences that may result from such a charge, such as not being able to see your children or live in your home due to a protective order. 

You also face penalties imposed by the court if it finds you guilty. According to the Texas Penal Code, the sentence the court hands down depends on whether your charge is a misdemeanor or a felony

Misdemeanor conviction 

If you face a misdemeanor charge, then you could face fines up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months. 

Felony conviction 

You could face a first, second or third degree felony for domestic violence. Third degree felonies are the lowest level and sentences may include a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison. For a second degree felony, you would face the same fine amount, but up to 20 years in prison. A first degree felony is the most severe. It has up to a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence of five to 99 years. 

Other penalties 

In addition to the fines and possible jail or prison sentences, you also may have to pay restitution to your family member. In this type of case, that means paying for emotional distress, medical treatment or other expenses related to the incident. You also will typically have to pay for the court costs. The court may also give you probation instead of time behind bars or in addition to any jail or prison time.

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