Interviewer: We’re talking about domestic violence. What is domestic violence called in Texas?
Attorney Churak: The offense is usually classified as Assault-family, basically, or assault-married.
Interviewer: It’s just a subset of assault, depending on the type of assault. Does the court see this offense as something different than assault on a person the alleged perpetrator is unacquainted with?
Attorney Churak: They actually have separate courts set up for specifically family violence cases. It came about because of legislation enacted in Washington a number of years ago where they actually funded separate courts for just strictly domestic violence cases.
Interviewer: Who can domestic violence incidents be committed against? Is it just a spouse or can the charge also apply to children or other relations?
Attorney Churak: It can be anybody within the family relationship, including in-laws.
Interviewer: What about if it’s just a girlfriend instead of a wife?
Attorney Churak: Yes, the classification applies to girlfriends also. If you’re in a dating relationship, it can be considered family violence.
Interviewer: What about if you are accused of assaulting your roommate, for example, an individual who is sharing your apartment?
Attorney Churak: A roommate is probably not going to fit in to the classification, unless it’s a dating relationship.