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South Texas Defense Attorney




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Criminal Defense Blog


Criminal Jury Selection
Bexar County Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Thornton


  1. Board Certified

  2. Former Prosecutor

  3. 100+ Courtroom Victories


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Family Violence
Drug Crimes
Murder & Manslaughter


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© 2023 by Thornton Criminal Defense, PLLC. 

Atascosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

San Antonio Office:

111 Soledad, Suite 401

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Tel: 210-439-5627

Atascosa Office:

216 N Bryant St

Pleasanton, Texas 78064








Attorney Brad Thornton is a highly experienced and Board-Certified criminal defense lawyer. With his background as a former Chief Prosecutor, he has a unique understanding of the criminal justice system and is able to provide comprehensive and effective representation to his clients. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment in court, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Brad Thornton is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case, whether it is in San Antonio or elsewhere in South Texas. He recognizes the stress and anxiety that can come with being accused of a crime, and approaches his clients with compassion while keeping them informed at every step of the process. His knowledge and experience make him a strong advocate for his clients.


Family Violence Crimes

San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney

Less than .008% of lawyers are Board Certified in Criminal Law. Click below to find out what that means and why hiring a Board Certified attorney is the only was to make sure you are getting an lawyer with the experience to handle your case.

Family Violence Crimes

Family Violence Attorney in San Antonio, Texas

Claims of family violence and their potential consequences are among the most serious of all crimes in Texas. When you have been accused of or arrested for family violence, you will likely have a high bond, restrictive bond conditions, and even a protective order preventing you from being around your own family or living in your own house.

When you’ve been charged with any form of family violence you need serious representation, fast. Time is critical when addressing this charge because there are many defenses that need to be explored quickly. You need an experienced lawyer with all types of family violence cases.

Attorney Brad Thornton trained assistant district attorneys and local law enforcement in how to prosecute and investigate domestic violence in Texas. As a defense attorney, Brad Thornton is committed to making sure the rest of the story is told and to fight for your rights and for your voice to be heard. Most importantly, Brad Thornton will fight to make sure your reputation and your record is protected and to secure the best potential outcome for your situation.

Types of Family Violence in Texas

Family Violence isn’t a single offense but a category of offenses for which a finding of “family violence” enhances the punishment or adds serious consequences. A finding of family violence can be found if you have had any of the following relationships with the alleged victim:

·       current or former spouses,

·       parents of the same child,

·       foster child and parent,

·       relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption,

·       current or former co-residents of the same home, and

·       current or former dating or romantic partners.

Assault – Family Violence

Someone commits assault if they:

1.     intentionally or carelessly causes bodily injury a family member; 

2.     intentionally threatens a family member with imminent bodily injury;  or

3.     intentionally causes touching a family member in an offensive or provocative way.


Continuous Assault – Family Violence

You can be charged with Continuous Family Violence if you commit two incidents of Assault – Family Violence within a 12-month period. You do not have to have previous convictions and the assaults do not have to have occurred in the same county and you can be charged in any county where the one of the assaults were committed.

Assault Strangulation – Family Violence

You can be charged with Assault-Strangulation if you commit Assault-Family Violence and while doing so, you prevent the normal breathing or normal circulation of the blood of your family member by applying pressure to that person’s throat or neck or by blocking that person’s nose or mouth.

The State believes that offenders who commit this type of assault are more likely to offend again and have a higher rate of homicide committed against a family member. Because of that, the prosecutors take these allegations extra seriously and the potential consequences are more severe.

Assault– Family Violence – with a Prior Conviction

If you have previously been convicted of any crime with a finding of family violence, you can be enhanced if you commit Assault-Family Violence again. You can be charged with a felony and be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Aggravated Assault – Family Violence

To commit Aggravated Assault- Family Violence, you would have to intentionally or carelessly cause serious bodily injury to your family member and in doing so, you would have to use a deadly weapon while committing the crime. Deadly weapons are guns or anything else that can cause serious bodily injury.

This crime is classified as a first-degree felony and carries the same penalties as murder.

Police Agency Arrest Policies in Texas for Family Violence

The State of Texas has traditionally placed a priority on preventing violence in family relationships. Law enforcement is afraid that if there is a call for family violence and someone isn’t arrested, they could be held responsible if another crime happens later, such as another assault against the same person or a murder.

Because of this fear, many law enforcement agencies have a policy that if there is a call for family violence, someone has to be arrested. This can result in an arrest where the police officer doesn’t have probable cause resulting in a charge that can be easily defended. But that doesn’t mean the consequences won’t be as server while you are facing these allegations.

Protective Orders

Magistrates in Texas can issue emergency protective orders, preventing you from going near your family or your home. Bond conditions also can carry the same restrictions and if you violate either of these, you can be charges with a felony or misdemeanor.

Penalties for Family Violence in Texas

Assault – Family Violence

Class A Misdemeanor

If you have never been convicted of an offense with a finding of family violence, you can be facing the following penalties:

·    A fine of up to $2,000; and

·    Up to 180 days in jail;


Continuous Assault – Family Violence, Assault Strangulation – Family Violence, and Assault– Family Violence – with a Prior Conviction

Third Degree Felony

If you have been convicted of assault family violence once before in any United States jurisdiction, have been alleged to have committed the crime twice within two months, or have been alleged to have committed the crime by strangulation, you can be facing the following penalties:

·    A fine of up to $10,000; and

·    Up to 10 years in prison;


Assault Strangulation – Family Violence – with a Prior Conviction

Second Degree Felony

If the state alleged you committed family violence by strangulation and you have previously been convicted of an offense family violence once before in any United States jurisdiction, you can be facing the following penalties:

·    A fine of up to $10,000; and

·    Up to 20 years in prison.

Aggravated Assault – Family Violence

First Degree Felony

If the state alleges you caused serious bodily injury to a family member using a deadly weapon, you can be facing the most sever penalties short of capital murder:

·    A fine of up to $10,000; and

·    Up to life in prison.


Addition consequences:

·    Community Supervision (Probation) 

·    Restrictions on your ability to possess a firearm

·    Anger Management or Batters Intervention and Prevention Program(BIPP) Classes

·    Community service hours

·    And other fees.


San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Thornton has spent years in court room fighting for justice. As a prosecutor, Brad was a leader on cases ranging from marijuana to murder from arrest to appeal. Who better to fight for your rights than someone who knows the "other side" and has tried the toughest of cases out there. Put his experience and knowledge to work for you.  

Punishment Ranges

Level of Offense

Potential Incarceration

Potential Fine

First-degree Felony

Second-degree Felony

Third-degree Felony

State Jail Felony

Class A Misdemeanor

Class B Misdemeanor

2 - 10 years in prison

180 days - 2 years in jail

Up to 1 year in jail

Up to 180 days in jail

2 - 20 years in prison

5 - 99 years in prison

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $4,000

Up to $2,000

Texas Drug Crimes
Assault Crimes in Texas
Property Crimes in Texas
Homicide Crimes in Texas, including Murder and Manslaughter
Theft Crimes in Texas
Weapon Crimes in San Antonio, Texas
Fraud and White Collar Defense in Texas
Internet Crimes in Texas
Resisting Arrest in San Antonio, Texas

Crimes & Criminal Matters


Daryl M.

Elmendorf, Texas

If you need a criminal lawyer, Brad Thornton is an excellent choice. He is intelligent, trustworthy, and highly professional, with an amazing understanding of the law.


Choosing the right lawyer can shape the rest of your life, so make sure to make the right decision and choose Brad Thornton.

Brian F. 

San Antonio, Texas

I have had the opportunity to know Brad both personally and professionally for a while now. As a fellow attorney, I am consistently impressed by his passion and innovative approach to legal issues. He is exceptionally intelligent and is always willing to go above and beyond for his clients. When I refer clients to Brad, I have full confidence that they will receive top-quality representation.

Stephanie S.

San Antonio, Texas

We recently faced a stressful family matter and turned to Brad for legal guidance. He was extremely compassionate and helped us understand our options and the legal process in an easy-to-follow way. We are thrilled with the outcome of our case and are grateful to Brad for his help. Thank you!

Garry T.

San Antonio, Texas

I cannot emphasize enough how understanding and compassionate Brad Thornton was during a difficult situation. He helped us navigate the legal aspects of our case and provided us with a clear understanding of our options. I highly recommend Brad Thornton for anyone in need of legal representation.