In Texas, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, as codified in Texas Penal Code §2.01. Therefore, even if you have been accused of or charged with a crime as serious as domestic abuse/family violence, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the law. Among these rights is the right to hire an Arlington domestic abuse lawyer to defend you.
This article will give you a basic understanding of what you can do to protect your rights and how a lawyer can defend you against domestic abuse charges. If you want to learn more, or if you are ready to hire an attorney, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
What Family Violence Is
In Texas, “domestic abuse” is more often referred to as family violence. Anyone can be a victim of family violence, including a spouse, a romantic partner, a parent, a child, or a sibling; by the same token, anyone can perpetuate family violence, regardless of age or gender. According to Texas Family Code §71.004, family violence can encompass many different types of behaviors, including:
- Physical abuse or harm
- Emotional abuse or harm
- Sexual abuse or harm
- Psychological abuse or harm
- The threat of any of the above
This last point is especially important to remember: even the threat of family violence (or the perceived threat of violence) is in and of itself considered family violence.
If you have been charged with any type of family violence in Arlington, Texas, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253. An Arlington domestic abuse lawyer will do everything possible to build a defense strong enough to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped.
The Penalties for Family Violence
What penalties will you face if you are convicted of family violence? That depends on the nature of the alleged abuse and whether you have been convicted of similar offenses in the past, among other factors.
Less serious offenses may be classified as misdemeanors. There are different “levels” of misdemeanors (Class A through Class C, with A being the most severe). Each carries its own set of penalties. According to the Texas Politics Project, people convicted of misdemeanors may face:
- Fines ranging from $500 to $4,000
- Prison time ranging from 180 days to 1 year
Felonies are much more serious. Like with misdemeanors, there are three felony “levels” (first-degree through third-degree; first-degree is the most severe). If convicted, you may face:
- Up to a $10,000 fine
- Prison time ranging from 2 years to life
In addition to these more tangible forms of punishment, the toll on your self-image, your reputation, and your personal life can be even more far-reaching. People you know may change how they behave towards you, and anyone who has reason to look up your criminal record will be able to see your conviction. This can affect your future ability to find and retain a job or find the type of housing you want.
What can you do to protect yourself from receiving these penalties? You will need to mount a defense strong enough to cast doubt on the prosecution’s allegations. For example, you can collect evidence (witness statements, medical records, or cell phone recordings, for example) that supports your version of events and/or disputes the prosecution’s story.
You can either defend yourself, or you can hire a defense attorney to fight on your behalf. A lawyer can be especially helpful if you have little knowledge of the law or if the charges have left you too upset or drained to put together a solid defense.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
Randall B. Isenberg, the founder of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, has over 30 years of experience in the law. This includes time as a prosecutor and a trial judge in addition to his years as a defense attorney. Our firm would like to put all of that experience to work for you. Here are just a few of the ways your lawyer can fight for you:
- Exploring your options: every case is different and requires a tailored approach. Your lawyer will help you figure out how to fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
- Investigate the charges: we will investigate not only the alleged offense but also the police’s handling of the case. Any discrepancy in either area may be used in your defense.
- Arguing for a dismissal: if we find any indication that your case was mishandled or that the accuser’s case will not hold up in court, we can ask that the charges against you be dropped.
- Arguing for reduced charges: in some cases, it may be possible to bargain for a lesser charge with more lenient penalties. This way, even if you are convicted, you will save money and spend less (or no) time in prison.
- Represent you at court: not all cases go to trial, but if yours does, you can trust your lawyer to defend you and fight for you before a judge and jury.
- Answer your questions: whether you want an update on your case, clarification of a legal concept, or advice as you think through an important legal decision, we are here for you.
Family violence is a serious offense. A conviction may result in fines, prison time, and a permanent stain on both your criminal record and your reputation. Perhaps even worse is the very personal nature of the charges, which can make it difficult to maintain objectivity and professionalism if you try to defend yourself.
An Arlington domestic abuse lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is ready and willing to stand up for you. Call us today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation and start the process of defending your rights.