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Assault Family Violence - Subsequent
Texas Penal Code § 22.01 (b)(2)(A) - ASSAULT-FAMILY-2ND
Assault Family Violence - Subsequent Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
In Texas, the offense of "Assault Family Violence - Subsequent " which is listed on official documents in Texas as ASSAULT FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD MEMBER PREV CONV IAT, is a type of assault offense that specifically involves the use of force or violence against a family or household member, and where the defendant has previously been convicted of a similar offense involving the same victim or a different family or household member.
Under Texas Penal Code section 22.01(b)(2)(A), it is a crime to commit assault against a family or household member if the person has previously been convicted of a similar offense involving the same victim or a different family or household member.
The definition of "assault" in Texas is found in Penal Code section 22.01, which states that a person commits an assault if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, or if they intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with imminent bodily injury.
"Family violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code as an act by a family or household member that is intended to physically harm, threaten the safety of, or cause emotional distress to another family or household member. "Household member" is defined as a person who currently resides in the same residence as the victim, or who has resided in the same residence with the victim in the past.
"Dating violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code as an act by an individual who is or has been in a romantic or dating relationship with the victim that is intended to physically harm, threaten the safety of, or cause emotional distress to the victim.
The phrase "iat" in the name of the offense "ASSAULT FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD MEMBER PREV CONV IAT " stands for "if at trial." This means that the enhancement for a previous conviction will apply only if it is proven at trial that the defendant has a previous conviction for a qualifying offense.
Assault Family Violence - Subsequent is a unique crime in Texas in that the previous conviction enhancement does not necessarily require a previous conviction. Instead, the enhancement can be triggered by a deferred adjudication for a qualifying offense.
In Texas, deferred adjudication is a form of probation that is offered as an alternative to a criminal conviction. If a person is granted deferred adjudication, they will be placed on probation and must comply with certain conditions. If the person successfully completes probation, the charges against them will be dismissed and they will not have a criminal conviction on their record.
However, if the person violates the terms of their probation or is charged with a new offense, the deferred adjudication can be revoked and the person may be sentenced for the original offense.
Under Texas law, a deferred adjudication can count as a previous conviction for purposes of the Assault Family Violence - Subsequent enhancement, as long as it was for a qualifying offense. This means that even if a person has not been formally convicted of a crime, they can still face enhanced charges for a subsequent assault against a family or household member if they have previously received deferred adjudication for a qualifying offense.
It is important to note that the previous conviction enhancement for Assault Family Violence - Subsequent does not have to be a previous assault offense. Any crime with a "family violence finding" can trigger the enhancement, regardless of the specific offense. A "family violence finding" is a judicial determination that a crime was committed against a family or household member and was motivated by a desire to control or dominate the victim.
Defenses in Texas
If you have been charged with Assault Family Violence - Subsequent in Texas, it is important to understand the possible defenses that may be available to you. While the specific defenses that may be available will depend on the circumstances of your case, some common defenses to this charge include:
Self-defense: If you were acting in self-defense or in defense of another person, this may be a valid defense to an assault charge. In order to use self-defense as a defense, you must have had a reasonable belief that you or someone else was in imminent danger of bodily injury and that the use of force was necessary to prevent that harm.
Lack of intent: In order to be convicted of assault, the prosecution must prove that you acted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. If you did not act with any of these mental states, you may be able to use lack of intent as a defense.
Accident: If you did not intend to cause harm to the victim and the injury was the result of an accident, this may be a valid defense to an assault charge.
False accusation: It is unfortunately not uncommon for people to be falsely accused of assault, especially in the context of domestic or family violence. If you have been falsely accused of assault, it is important to present any evidence that supports your innocence.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of the possible defenses to an Assault Family Violence - Subsequent charge in Texas. Every case is different, and the specific defenses that may be available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.