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Changes in Texas Family Violence Laws: What You Need to Know

Changes in Texas Family Violence Laws: What You Need to Know

In the ever-evolving landscape of legal regulations, Texas has recently made significant changes to its Texas family violence laws. These changes have a profound impact on arrests, prosecutions, and penalties related to family violence cases. If you or someone you know is facing family violence charges in Texas, it’s crucial to stay informed about these updates and understand how they may affect your case.


At Gallian Firm, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys is dedicated to protecting your rights and providing you with the best legal representation. In this blog, we’ll discuss three of the most recent changes in Texas family violence laws and the implications for those facing such charges.

Change 1: Strangulation as a Separate Offense

One of the notable changes in Texas family violence laws is the classification of strangulation as a separate and distinct offense. Previously, strangulation cases were typically prosecuted under aggravated assault charges. However, Texas now recognizes that strangulation is a unique form of violence that deserves specific attention and penalties.


  • Harsher Penalties: Strangulation is now a third-degree felony offense in Texas, carrying more severe penalties than simple assault charges. If convicted, individuals could face imprisonment for 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Easier Prosecution: With strangulation being a separate offense, prosecutors have a more straightforward path to charge and prosecute individuals responsible for this form of violence.
  • Increased Awareness: The recognition of strangulation as a distinct offense sends a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated, leading to greater awareness and prevention efforts.


Change 2: Expanded Protection for Victims

Another significant change in Texas family violence laws involves expanding protections for victims. The state has broadened the criteria for what constitutes family violence, extending safeguards to a wider range of individuals.

family violence laws


  • Broader Definition: The definition of family violence now encompasses more types of relationships, including dating violence, same-sex relationships, and those who share a child but are not married or living together.
  • Enhanced Protective Orders: Victims in these expanded categories have greater access to protective orders, offering them additional legal protection from their abusers.
  • More Resources: With these changes, victims in previously unrecognized relationships can access the resources and support they need to escape abusive situations.

Change 3: Firearms Surrender Requirements

Texas Family Violence Laws have also introduced stricter requirements regarding the surrender of firearms in family violence cases. This change aims to reduce the risk of violence escalation in domestic situations.


  • Immediate Surrender: Courts may require the accused to surrender firearms, ammunition, and a license to carry a handgun as a condition of bond or protective order. This requirement extends to anyone subject to a final family violence protective order.
  • Prohibition on Possession: Those subject to a protective order or convicted of family violence offenses are prohibited from possessing firearms for a certain period. Violating this prohibition can lead to further criminal charges.
  • Safe Storage: If the court allows the accused to keep their firearms, they must be stored in a safe and secure manner, ensuring they are not accessible to the victim.

Penalties for Family Violence Convictions

In light of these changes, it’s essential to understand the potential penalties for family violence convictions in Texas. The severity of the consequences varies based on the specific circumstances of the case, prior criminal history, and the type of family violence offense.

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Family violence assault causing bodily injury is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony: As mentioned earlier, strangulation is now a third-degree felony, carrying a potential sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: If a person has a prior family violence conviction and commits a subsequent offense, they may face second-degree felony charges, which can result in a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Life Felony: In cases of continuous family violence against a family or household member, the offense can be charged as a life felony, with a potential life sentence in prison.

Why Choose Gallian Firm as Your Criminal Defense Lawyers

Facing Texas family violence charges is a serious matter that can have life-altering consequences. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced and dedicated legal defense team by your side.  At Gallian Firm, we understand the complexities of family violence cases and the implications of recent legal changes. Here’s why you should consider us as your criminal defense lawyers if you are charged with crimes related to family violence:

  • Experience: Our team has a proven track record of successfully defending clients facing family violence charges. We have in-depth knowledge of the law and stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments.
  • Personalized Approach: We understand that every case is unique, and at Gallian Firm, we provide personalized legal strategies tailored to your specific circumstances.
  • Strong Advocacy: At Gallian Firm, we are committed to protecting your rights and providing aggressive advocacy on your behalf. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
  • 24/7 Availability: We are available for free consultations 24/7 to discuss your case, answer your questions, and provide immediate assistance.

Contact Gallian Firm Today

If you or a loved one is facing family violence charges in Texas, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal representation. Contact family violence defense firm Gallian Firm for a free consultation by calling us at 214-432-8860. We are available 24/7 to take your call! Alternatively, you can reach out to us through the contact form on our website.

Your future and freedom are at stake, and we are here to fight for your rights and provide you with the support you need during this challenging time. Don’t delay—get the legal help you deserve from Gallian Firm today. 


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