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Family Violence

Family violence in Dallas is a very serious matter that can result in severe repercussions. In 2002 alone, the Dallas Police Department received over 19,000 calls regarding family violence issues. About 16,500 of these resulted in charges against a family member or someone in a dating relationship.

Accusations of family violence or domestic violence often arise from another underlying situation. Often, the alleged victim will falsely accuse a family member or someone they are in a dating relationship with of committing domestic violence. These allegations can be caused by jealousy, anger, child custody disputes or to gain a more favorable position during a divorce.

If you have been accused of a family or domestic violence crime, it is essential to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas to defend the accusations against you.

Dallas Family Violence Lawyer

If you have been accused of family violence or domestic violence in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth,Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Attorney Richard McConathy will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you avoid serious punishments and consequences to your alleged offense. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your family violence charges.


Dallas Family Violence Information Center


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Definitions of Family Violence in Fort Worth

Often, family violence or domestic violence situations involve terms that are unfamiliar to most people and different from general criminal proceedings. As defined in Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code, many of these terms are listed below.

  • Family Violence – Family violence is often more commonly referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse or dating violence, and is defined as an intentional act by one family member against another to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.
  • Dating Violence – Dating violence is defined as an intentional act by a person in a dating relationship against a person they are currently in a dating relationship with or were previously in a dating relationship with that causes physical or bodily harm.
  • Family Member – A family member is anyone who is related by blood, related by marriage, a former spouse, parents of the same child, foster parents or step-parents.
  • Household Member – A household member is anyone who resides or has previously resided in the same home. This includes individuals who are not in the same family, such as roommates.
  • Protective Order – A protective order is generally more commonly referred to as a restraining order, protection against family violence, or protection order, and is a court order issued if the judge determines family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again.
  • Protective Order Hearing – At a protective order hearing, the judge determines whether family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future after both sides present evidence and any witnesses. The judge will issue a protective order if they determine family violence has occurred.

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Family Violence Offenses in Dallas

Some of the most common charged family violence offense in Dallas can include, but are not limited to the following:

According to Tex. Penal Code § 22.01, an individual can be charged with domestic assault if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury, threaten or physically contact a family member, household member or person they are in a dating relationship with.

As defined in Tex. Penal Code § 22.02 an individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they commit assault with a deadly weapon against a family member or cause serious bodily injury to a family member, household member or person they are in a dating relationship with.

Section 25.07 of the Texas Penal Code defines a violation of a protective order as knowingly or intentionally violating the terms of a protective order against them. This can include communicating with the family member who requested the protective order or going to their home or place of business.

Tex. Penal Code § 42.072 defines stalking as repeatedly and knowingly engaging in conduct targeted at a specific person:

  • They will perceive as threatening,
  • That causes them to be afraid they will be seriously harmed, and
  • That would cause a reasonable person to fear injury or death to herself or her family members.

This offense can also include cyberstalking, which is defined as communicating with another person through e-mail or other electronic means strictly to harass that person.

According to section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with child abuse if they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence cause any type of serious bodily harm or injury to a child or elderly adult.


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Dallas Punishments for Domestic Violence

Chapter 12 of the Texas penal Code defines the general penalties to many family violence offenses in Dallas. However, these penalties can vary, depending on whether the victim was elederly, disabled or a child, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, the degree of domestic violence, whether bodily injury or death resulted from the offense, and whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history.

  • An individual charged with a Class C misdemeanor domestic assault offense can result in a fine up to $500.
  • An individual convicted of a Class B misdemeanor domestic assault offense can receive a jail sentence not more than 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
  • An individual charged with a Class A misdemeanor violation of a protection order can receive a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000, if convicted of the violation.
  • A conviction for a felony of the third degree domestic assault, violation of a protective order, stalking, or child abuse offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual charged with felony of the second degree domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, stalking or child abuse offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a first degree aggravated domestic assault or child abuse offense can receive a prison term from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.

Additionally, anyone who commits continuous violence against a family or household member can be convicted of a third degree felony offense, according to Tex. Penal Code § 25.11. Contiguous violence is defined as committing a family violence offense two or more times within a 12 month period.


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Family Violence Resources in Dallas

Texas Penal Code – Assaultive Offenses – Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code defines many of the state’s domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault offenses. This chapter defines the elements to many family violence-related crimes and the punishments if an individual commits an offense.

Texas Penal Code – Offenses Against the Family – This link is to Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines many family violence offenses, including protective order violations and continued violence against the family, and the penalties an individual could face if they are convicted of the offense.

An Abuse, Rape, Family violence Aid and Resource Collection – AARDVARC is a national organization that aims to provide resources and miscellaneous information on family violence throughout Texas.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – This website provides information on child protective services (CPS) in Texas and general family laws in the state. Also available on this site are methods to report child or family abuse and miscellaneous resources on family and protective services in Texas.


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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Domestic Violence Attorney

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged family violence crime throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a free consultation about your domestic violence allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County,Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, Collin County and Tarrant County.


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