Victim of domestic violence crying

Sadly, in Midland, Texas and surrounding communities, as throughout the U.S., domestic violence continues to be a critical issue. At Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C., our accomplished family law attorneys are committed to providing moral support as well as powerful legal advocacy to victims of domestic violence. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of family violence cases and work tirelessly to ensure that the safety and legal rights of our clients are protected. 

How Is Domestic Violence Defined in Texas?

In Texas, domestic violence is defined as an act by a member of a family or household against another member that results in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. 

This definition also includes dating violence, which refers to a similar act committed by a person in a dating relationship. The law casts a wide net in order to be as inclusive and protective as possible, including relationships between roommates and housemates as well as family members and romantic partners.

Types of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, economic, and psychological. 

Physical abuse involves any form of violence that causes injury or harm to the body

Emotional and psychological abuse includes behaviors that undermine an individual’s sense of self-worth or emotional well-being. 

Sexual abuse refers to any nonconsensual sexual act or behavior

Economic abuse involves controlling a victim’s financial resources, hindering their ability to support themselves. 

Recognizing these types is crucial for identifying abuse and seeking help, which is why education about the parameters of domestic violence is extremely important.

Who Can Lodge a Domestic Violence Claim in Texas?

In Texas, individuals who can lodge a domestic violence claim include those who have experienced abuse from a family member, household member, or dating partner. This includes spouses, former spouses, parents of the same child, siblings, foster parents and children, and those in an ongoing or previous dating relationships. The law tries to protect victims by providing a legal framework for addressing and preventing further abuse.

What Turns the Misdemeanor of Family Violence Assault Into a Felony in Texas?

The misdemeanor of family violence assault becomes a felony in Texas under certain circumstances, including: 

  • If the perpetrator has a previous conviction for family violence
  • If the act involves strangulation or suffocation
  • If the assault results in serious bodily injury
  • If the perpetrator uses or exhibits a deadly weapon

Felony charges carry more severe penalties, reflecting the gravity of the offense and the state’s commitment to protecting victims.

Is Stalking Considered a Form of Domestic Abuse or Violence?

Yes, stalking is considered a form of domestic abuse or violence in Texas. It involves a pattern of behavior that places the targeted individual in fear for their safety or the safety of others, causing them emotional distress. Stalking can involve following the person, repeatedly contacting them without consent, or engaging in conduct that harasses, annoys, alarms, abuses, torments, or embarrasses them. Stalking is taken seriously by Texas law and can result in criminal charges.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Texas

The penalties for domestic violence in Texas vary depending according to the severity of the offense, the perpetrator’s criminal history, and other relevant factors. Penalties can range from fines and probation for misdemeanor offenses to long-term imprisonment for felonies. Additional consequences may include restraining orders, loss of firearm rights, and mandatory participation in intervention programs. The legal system seeks to balance punishment with rehabilitation, in a concerted effort to protect victims and prevent future violence.

Steps Our Attorneys Will Take To Protect You From Domestic Violence

At Navarrete & Schwartz, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients from domestic violence. We take several steps to ensure your safety and legal rights, including:

1. Filing for protective orders to legally prevent the abuser from contacting or coming near you.

2. Representing you in court to ensure your case is presented strongly and effectively.

3. Assisting with custody/support issues to secure stability for you and your children.

4. Providing guidance on planning for safety now and in the future by connecting you with local resources for further support.

5. Advocating for your interests in negotiations or legal proceedings related to the abuse.

Our legal team is committed to offering compassionate and confidential legal services to victims of domestic violence. We understand the courage it takes to come forward and are here to support you every step of the way.

Contact Our Experienced Domestic Violence Attorneys Now

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the time to act is now. The dedicated attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. are here to provide the legal support and guidance you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. With a deep understanding of Texas law and a commitment to our clients’ well-being, we will work tirelessly to ensure your safety and secure your legal rights. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate this challenging time and start the journey toward healing and recovery.