The penalty you may receive if convicted for domestic violence depends on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors are considered lesser offenses and typically carry lighter penalties. Felonies are considered more serious and as such, require harsher punishment.
In misdemeanor domestic violence cases, there are a wide range of penalties the judge can impose. For example, you may be sentenced to:
- Mandatory treatment or counseling
Depending on what class of misdemeanor you’ve convicted of, you could also face jail time. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to 180 days. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you may be forced to serve up to one year in the county jail. In addition, the judge may continue to enforce the protective order against you and restrict your right to obtain a firearm license.
If you have a previous Class A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, subsequent charges could be upgraded to a felony.
In the state of Texas, conviction on a felony charge carries a minimum prison term of at least two years. If convicted of a third degree felony domestic violence assault, you could be sentenced to up to 10 years. The fines for felony convictions also increase up to a maximum of $10,000.
Under Texas law, aggravated assault is automatically charged as a second degree felony. Second degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between 2 and 20 years.
Finally, in cases of aggravated assault involving serious bodily injury and the use of a weapon against a family member, the charge is elevated to a first degree felony. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face life imprisonment if convicted of a first degree domestic violence charge.