Domestic Violence has become a hot topic issue in todays media and courtrooms. For the last few years more and more laws have come into place to protect victims of domestic violence. However for those accused of domestic violence, the stigma, and the charges are harder than ever to escape. If you have been accused of Domestic Violence, call my office today at 713-446-1383 in order to to begin defending your case, your livliehood and your life immediatley.
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.
What Does Consanguinity Mean?
You may have noticed the word “consanguinity” in the definition of “family” listed above. This term has a specific meaning under the law as well That meaning is as follows:
Sec. 573.022. DETERMINATION OF CONSANGUINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if:
(1) one is a descendant of the other; or
(2) they share a common ancestor.
(b) An adopted child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent for this purpose.
What Does Affinity Mean?
The word “affinity” also has a specific meaning in the law. That meaning is as follows:
Sec. 573.024. DETERMINATION OF AFFINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by affinity if:
(1) they are married to each other; or
(2) the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual.
(b) The ending of a marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives.
(c) Subsection (b) applies to a member of the board of trustees of or an officer of a school district only until the youngest child of the marriage reaches the age of 21 years.
Legal Definition of Family Violence In Texas
The term “family violence” also has a specific meaning under the law. That definition is also found in the Texas Family Code and is defined in the following way:
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.
The word “abuse” also has a specific meaning under the law. That word means the following:
(1) “Abuse” includes the following acts or omissions by a person:
(A) mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
(B) causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;
(C) physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;
(D) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child;
(E) sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or disabled individual under Section 21.02, Penal Code, indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code, sexual assault under Section 22.011, Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021, Penal Code;
(F) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child;
(G) compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct as defined by Section 43.01, Penal Code, including compelling or encouraging the child in a manner that constitutes an offense of trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8), Penal Code, solicitation of prostitution under Section 43.021, Penal Code, or compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2), Penal Code;
(H) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene as defined by Section 43.21, Penal Code, or pornographic;
(I) the current use by a person of a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child;
(J) causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code;
(K) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child as defined by Section 43.25, Penal Code;
(L) knowingly causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a child to be trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(5), (6), (7), or (8), Penal Code, or the failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent a child from being trafficked in a manner punishable as an offense under any of those sections; or
(M) forcing or coercing a child to enter into a marriage.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Family and Protective Services.
(3) “Exploitation” means the illegal or improper use of a child or of the resources of a child for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility or program as further described by rule or policy.
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).