A misdemeanor or felony conviction may result in prison time and a lifelong criminal record.

Domestic Abuse

At The John Nix Law Office, we understand cases are rarely cut-and-dried and that everything has a story behind it.

You have a voice

Domestic violence is a serious issue for both men and women. Regular family arguments can quickly spin out of control, and accusations of domestic violence often have long-term consequences on child custody and your job. A misdemeanor or felony conviction may result in prison time and a lifelong criminal record.

Your situation is entirely unique

Protective Orders & Family Violence

Protective Orders

We can file for or defend protective orders. Victims of family violence who are related to the offender by blood or marriage, currently living with the offender, have ever lived with the offender, have a child with the offender, or are or have been dating the offender are eligible to apply for protective orders.

Protective orders prohibit the offender from:

  • Committing further acts of family violence
  • Harassing or threatening the victim, either directly or indirectly by communicating the threat through another person
  • Going to or near the persons place of residence or employment
  • Going to or near a school or day care center if the child or children are protected under the order

A protective order will not supersede child custody orders and is not a means of setting up child custody. If a child has not been assaulted by the offender in the offense you will not be allowed to include them in the order of protection. Child custody issues will be separate issues and need to be taken up with the court with your custody attorney at a different time.

At the John Nix Law Office, we listen

Domestic violence is an ill-intended act by a family or household member against another member of that same family or household. Texas’ definition of domestic violence is laid out in Section 71.004 of Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code.

In Texas, a domestic violence conviction for a first offense may result in imprisonment for up to one year and fines of up to $4,000. The penalties become steeper for further offenses—right up to felony domestic violence.

At The John Nix Law Office, we understand cases are rarely cut-and-dried and that everything has a story behind it.

Helping heal Texoma

If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, we will vigorously defend you inside and outside of court, working toward a positive outcome to your situation.

We are committed to protecting your rights whether it is best to negotiate a viable plea agreement or fight the charges in court.

Call us today for an initial consultation.

Texas Punishment for Misdemeanor & Felony Family Violence

Crime Class
Jail or Prison Term
Fines
Misdemeanor Class C
Not Applicable
Up to $500
Misdemeanor Class A
Up to 1 year in State Jail
Up to $4,000
Felony 3rd Degree
2 to 10 Years in Prison
Up to $10,000
Felony 2nd Degree
2 to 20 Years in Prison
Up to $10,000
Felony 1st Degree
5 to 99 Years in Prison
Up to $10,000

You can also lose your right to own a firearm.

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TEXAS FAMILY CODE

TITLE 4. PROTECTIVE ORDERS AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

SUBTITLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 71. DEFINITIONS

Sec. 71.001. APPLICABILITY OF DEFINITIONS. (a) Definitions in this chapter apply to this title.

(b) If, in another part of this title, a term defined by this chapter has a meaning different from the meaning provided by this chapter, the meaning of that other provision prevails.

(c) Except as provided by this chapter, the definitions in Chapter 101 apply to terms used in this title.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997.

Sec. 71.002. COURT. “Court” means the district court, court of domestic relations, juvenile court having the jurisdiction of a district court, statutory county court, constitutional county court, or other court expressly given jurisdiction under this title.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1220, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 71.0021. DATING VIOLENCE. (a) “Dating violence” means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:

(1) is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:

(A) with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or

(B) because of the victim’s or applicant’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and

(2) is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

(b) For purposes of this title, “dating relationship” means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of:

(1) the length of the relationship;

(2) the nature of the relationship; and

(3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

(c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a “dating relationship” under Subsection (b).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 91, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 872 (S.B. 116), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 117 (S.B. 817), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 71.003. FAMILY. “Family” includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Sections 573.022 and 573.024, Government Code, individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.03, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 71.004. FAMILY VIOLENCE. “Family violence” means:

(1) an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result 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, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;

(2) abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), (K), and (M), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or

(3) dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 91, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 117 (S.B. 817), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 319 (S.B. 11), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 249), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 71.005. HOUSEHOLD. “Household” means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997.

Sec. 71.006. MEMBER OF A HOUSEHOLD. “Member of a household” includes a person who previously lived in a household.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997.

Sec. 71.007. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY. “Prosecuting attorney” means the attorney, determined as provided in this title, who represents the state in a district or statutory county court in the county in which venue of the application for a protective order is proper.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 34, Sec. 1, eff. May 5, 1997.

The Texas statutes available on this page are current through the 86th Legislature, 2019. The Texas Constitution is current through the amendments approved by voters in November 2019. In 2018 the section headings to the constitution, which are not officially part of the text of the constitution, were revised to reflect amendments and to modernize the language.