It’s not uncommon for spouses in Texas to have different perspectives on things. If you don’t handle these differences delicately, it can result in heated arguments where people throw things, such as cell phones, at each other. But this may have legal repercussions.
Throwing something at your spouse is domestic violence
Texas courts can convict you of domestic violence if you threw something at your spouse and caused bodily injury, even if the object didn’t make contact. The law considers this a form of assault. Penalties include up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4000.
The court can also charge you with criminal mischief, which is a felony in Texas. The punishment for this crime depends on the value of the damages caused. If the damage is worth less than $1500, you could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $5000. If the damage is greater than $1500, you could face up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $10000.
Other consequences of domestic violence charge
Besides the fines and prison time, a domestic violence charge could affect your life in other ways, like making it challenging to find a job, keep your current job or rent an apartment. You may also lose your right to own or possess a firearm.
If you have children with the person you allegedly assaulted, you may also lose custody or visitation rights. The court may order you to stay away from your children and not have any contact with them until you resolve your criminal case.
What to do when arguing
It’s important to keep your cool and not let emotions get the better of you. If things start getting heated, it might be a good idea to take a break from the argument and return when you both have time to calm down.
If you accidentally threw your phone at your spouse during the heat of the moment, and they later file charges against you, there are a few defenses you or your criminal defense attorney could use. One is that you didn’t actually cause any bodily injury to your partner. Another is that you were acting in self-defense. If you can prove that your spouse was the aggressor and you were only defending yourself, the court might drop charges against you.