Denton Assault & Family Violence Lawyer

Assault family violence in Texas is governed by Section 22.01 (a)(1) of the Penal Code of the state, which provides that a person is guilty of an assault offense if he or she knowingly, recklessly or intentionally causes physical injury to another individual, including the spouse of the actor. At first glance, the law may appear very broad but in Denton and other areas of North Texas, assault family violence cases are among the most difficult to prosecute successfully.

Bodily Injury Defined

Bodily injury is defined by Section 1.07(a)(8) of the Texas Penal Code as illness, physical pain or any kind of physical condition impairment. This statute may again look terrifyingly broad but you should not worry. There are a lot of solid defenses and other obstacles that the prosecution has to overcome before they can convict you of assault family violence.

Self Defense

In assault cases that allege bodily injury, self-defense can definitely be an affirmative defense. Self-defense is defined by Section 9.31(a), which states in part that there is justification on the use of force by a person against another person when the actor reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary to use force in order to protect him or herself against the attempted us of illegal force by the other person.


Consent is another affirmative defense that is less prominent. Consent means exactly as it is, that the assaulted individual agreed to the assault that resulted to bodily injury. An individual cannot consent lawfully to aggravated assault that resulted to serious physical injury. A classic example for consent in law school is in sports where players hit each other routinely in the course of the game such as in football. Another situation where a victim could possible provoke an assault is when he or she invites another person to hit him or her.

Although each factual circumstance and case is unique, the accuser has to testify against the accused to fulfill all the legal elements of the case. It is mandated by the confrontation clause of the Constitution that a person has the right to face his or her accusers in court.

Juror Attitude

The prosecution also finds assault cases difficult because many jurors hesitate to let the state be involved with the personal lives of people. When they witness an unwilling victim being forced into the witness stand or when they cannot distinguish who is really at fault, they usually give the correct judgment, which is “not guilty”.

An essential concern in assault family violence case is the attempt of the state to hang an affirmative finding of family violence on you. Section 22.01(b)(2)(A) along with several sections of the Family Code could make an affirmative finding of family violence enhance a second misdemeanor offense to third degree felony. Even a deferred adjudication would not erase an affirmative finding.

If you have been accused of assault family violence in the state of Texas, having a lawyer who knows what he is doing could save you a lot of trouble. We invite you to contact us at the Goolsby Law Firm right away for a free initial consultation.