• Justin Sparks

What is Family Violence?

Updated: Feb 11


Family Violence Under Texas Law


Family Violence Under Texas Law


Under Texas Law, a crime classified as “Family Violence” can have extra consequences that affect your rights long after the case has been resolved, including your rights to possess a firearm and your ability to seal or expunge your arrest record. These charges have high stakes and must be handled in the right way.


Typically a family violence charge arises when someone is accused of intentionally causing bodily injury to someone else. If that other person fits into the law’s definition of “family,” it can be charged as family violence.


The Three Categories of “Family” under Texas Law:


1. A member of the defendant’s family This includes relatives by blood or by marriage as well as foster children and foster parents. 


2. A member of the defendant’s household

This includes roommates and anyone who is living under the same roof or in the same “dwelling,” regardless of if they are related by blood.


3. A person with whom the defendant had a dating relationship

Texas law defines this as any type of romantic relationship. This includes spouses and ex-spouses, people who go on dates together, people who hold themselves out as a couple, and people who engage in sexual intimacy with one another.


Important to remember: Past dating relationships still count. If you are accused of violence against an ex-girlfriend or ex-spouse, this will still count as family violence, even though you are no longer together.


Because the consequences of a family violence charge are so serious, it is essential that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Set up a consultation today.