Domestic violence in Texas is defined as an assault against a family member, specifically an assault against a family member that is intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly caused the victim bodily harm. Assault against a family member is a charged as a class A misdemeanor, and its punishable by less than 1 year in jail and/or possible $4,000 fine. But the punishment for assault against a family member increases, depending on the surrounding facts and/or severity of the violence that occurred. 

What is Assault against a Family Member by Impeding Breathing?

Assault against a family member by impeding breathing occurs when: 

  • The person knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally;
  • Impedes the normal circulation of blood or breathing of a victim; and
  • That victim is a family member.

How is Impeding the Normal Breathing or Circulation of Blood of a Victim Defined in Texas?

To interfere with a victim’s breathing or circulation of blood, the defendant must have: 

  • Applied pressure to the victim’s neck;
  • Applied pressure to the victim’s throat; or
  • Block the victim’s mouth or nose. 

Is Assault on a Family Member by Impeding Breathing Considered to be a Felony?

Yes, this type of assault on a family member is charged as a third degree felony

What is the Punishment for This Crime in Texas?

An assault on a family member by impeding breathing conviction carries a punishment of 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Why was I Charge with Third Degree Felony Assault on a Family Member when I Didn’t Impede or Choke Anyone?

A person can be charged with third degree felony assault on a family member, even if they did not impede the family member’s breathing, if they: 

  • Had a prior assault on a family member conviction
  • Had two assault charges against a family member within one year
  • Had previously impeded the breathing or blood circulation of a family member 

Should I Talk to a Lawyer about My Assault against a Family Charge?

Yes. Don’t delay in talking with a Texas criminal lawyer, because they can help by explaining the charges and the possible defenses available to you.