The terms domestic violence and domestic abuse often end up thrown around, especially in mainstream media. Despite the public’s general awareness of these issues, many do not understand exactly what constitutes domestic violence or abuse.
It is important to understand not only what defines these acts but also understand the way the law treats those convicted of committing them.
What is domestic violence?
According to the Texas Family Code, domestic violence constitutes any violence taking place between family members, spouses and those sharing a living quarter such as roommates. This can include both current and former members of such groups.
The Department of Public Safety’s 2018 report stated that one-third of all reported domestic violence cases happen between spouses, however. Another one-fourth of the cases happen between parents and children.
Abuse, as defined by state laws, generally involves actions that result in molestation, sexual assault, coercion or physical harm. But domestic violence can also include cases in which a victim did not suffer physical damage, but suffered from a believable threat of imminent danger.
What are the penalties?
Penalties for a conviction of domestic violence vary greatly depending on the severity of the abuse in question. Some face demeanor charges and small fines while others face first-degree felony charges. In the most severe of cases, those charged could face up to 99 years in prison and enormous fines if convicted. Other repercussions could include an impact on job and apartment or house hunting due to a refusal or rejection of applications.
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction are no joke. It is important to understand these in order to have a proper defense in court.