Law Office of
Rhett Braniff

Assault (Family Violence)

Leading Representation for Assault Cases in Austin

When facing charges of assault family violence, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a reputable criminal defense attorney in Austin. At the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, our dedicated team has extensive experience in handling cases related to assault family violence. As a trusted Austin law firm, we are committed to providing skilled legal representation tailored to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome. Contact us today if you need legal representation in an assault family violence case.

Understanding Assault Family Violence

Assault family violence refers to incidents where there is physical harm, threat, or abuse directed towards a family member or household member. It encompasses a wide range of relationships, including spouses, dating partners, parents, children, siblings, and others living in the same household. In Texas, assault family violence is taken very seriously, and the legal consequences can be severe.

As an assault attorney, Rhett Braniff possesses a comprehensive understanding of assault family violence laws. He is well-versed in the complexities surrounding domestic violence cases and fiercely advocates for his client's rights. With his experience and expertise, he navigates through the legal system to ensure the most effective defense strategy.

person hugging knees in shadow of people fighting
judge using gavel

Assault Family Violence Punishment Charges

Assault family violence is normally a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $4000.00. The punishment range for assault family violence can be enhanced to a felony in a number of circumstances, including:

  1. If the person charged has a prior family violence finding in a previous case, the offense can be charged as a 3rd Degree Felony and has a punishment range of two to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine up to $10,000.00
  2. If the allegation is that the person impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth, regardless of whether the offense is a first offense or not, then the offense can be charged as a 2nd Degree Felony with a punishment range of two to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
  3. If the allegation is that the person charged committed the offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon against a family member, the offense can be charged as a 1st Degree Felony with a punishment range of five to 99 years or life in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine up to $10,000.00 fine.

A Prior Deferred Adjudication Probation Can Be Used to Enhance a Subsequent Offense

While the language of the statute states that a prior conviction can enhance a subsequent charge, this is also true of successfully completed deferred adjudications. While a successfully completed deferred adjudication means you have no conviction on your records, this prior offense (which can’t be non-disclosed) can be used to make a subsequent case a felony charge.

The Severity of Family Violence Cases

A finding of family violence is an affirmative finding made by the trial court at the plea or upon conviction after a trial of an assault family violence charge. The finding is an aspect of the case that can be waived by the State in plea negotiations. Family violence findings have enormous impacts on the person’s, life even more so than other offenses of the same penalty range. A Class A assault with a family violence finding will have much more severe consequences for a person charged with a Class A Criminal Trespass, or a Class A Criminal Mischief, etc. While the punishment range is the same, the finding of family violence carries with it significant consequences. These include:

  • The inability of the person to possess a firearm ever again
  • Inability to rent an apartment or find other housing
  • Inability to obtain gainful employment
  • Enhancement of a subsequent charge
person in handcuffs

Proving an Assault Family Violence Case Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Assault family violence cases are often unique in that the complainant in the case is often the only evidence of the assault. Assault family violence cases can be sustained without any visible injury, without any allegation of a weapon, and solely on the testimony of the complaining witness. In addition, there is a bias among arresting agencies in Texas in assault family violence cases. It is more likely that the male will be arrested in a family violence allegation. In “he said, she said” type cases, with no corroborating evidence, it is more likely that the male is arrested.

Family violence cases are treated much more harshly than other misdemeanor cases in the criminal justice system and have been for years. While changes are occurring and some counties are more receptive to diversion and non-conviction type resolutions to assault family violence cases, they are still very aggressively prosecuted.

Another unique aspect of family violence cases is the way victim input plays a role in the resolution of family violence cases. Prosecutors often ask for victim input in all cases and will try to craft a plea offer that takes the wishes of the victim into account. In assault family violence cases, it is likely that a recanting victim, or a victim wanting the case to be dismissed, will not see their wishes honored. Often a victim wanting a dismissal is disregarded as only requesting so because of duress, pressure, or intimidation. The State can, and will, proceed with the prosecution of the case even if the victim asks that the case not be prosecuted.

Defending Your Rights

Navigating through assault family violence charges can be overwhelming, but our dedicated team is equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience to build a robust defense strategy. We thoroughly investigate every aspect of the case, challenging the prosecution's evidence and ensuring our clients receive fair treatment throughout the legal process.

Personalized Defense Strategies

Each assault family violence case is unique, and our Austin-based lawyers take a personalized approach for every client. We diligently analyze the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault, providing tailored defense strategies that aim to challenge the prosecution's claims. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients, whether it be dismissal, reduced charges, or an acquittal.

  • The inability of the person to possess a firearm ever again
  • Inability to rent an apartment or find other housing
  • Inability to obtain gainful employment
  • Enhancement of a subsequent charge
lawyer meeting with client

Your Advocates in the Courtroom

When it comes to assault family violence cases, having strong representation in the courtroom is crucial. Our attorneys are experienced litigators who are not afraid to aggressively advocate for our clients’ rights. We skillfully present the defense’s case, cross-examine witnesses, and work tirelessly to dismantle the prosecution’s arguments, all to secure the best outcome.

When you are facing assault family violence charges in Austin, you need the support and expertise of a trusted criminal defense attorney. At the Law Office of Rhett Braniff, we have built a solid reputation as the premier law firm in Austin, specializing in assault cases. With over 20 years of experience practicing criminal law, our founder, Rhett Braniff, is a former prosecutor who understands the intricacies of the legal system and possesses unique insights that can be valuable in developing an effective defense strategy. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Let us provide you with the strategic defense you deserve, so you can move forward with confidence.