How Is A Domestic Violence Offense Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
It depends on whether you have a prior conviction, the type of assault, and the type of injuries.
If you’ve been convicted of assault on a family member before, your second charge is automatically a third-degree felony. It doesn’t matter how minor alleged assault is, you will automatically be charged with a third-degree felony.
If you don’t have a prior conviction, then it depends on the type of assault and the injuries.
If the allegation involves choking or impeding the complainant’s breathing in any way, that’s a third-degree felony.
If the allegation involves “serious bodily injury,” that’s a second-degree felony. Serious bodily injury is pretty extreme; a black eye isn’t going to qualify. Serious bodily injury means any injury that creates a risk of death, causes permanent disfigurement, causes a person to go into a coma, or causes organ failure.
If the allegation involves the use of a deadly weapon, such as a knife or a gun, that’s also a second-degree felony charge.
Fortunately, the vast majority of assault on a family member cases involve only minor alleged assaults: a punch, a slap, a kick, etc., with no serious injuries. These cases are charged as class A misdemeanors.
For more information on Misdemeanor & Felony Domestic Violence, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 936-4521 today.
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