When facing family or domestic violence charges, your private family matters become very public. Not only will a domestic violence conviction potentially put you behind bars, it will also carry a high social and emotional cost.
You will also face a substantial fine, a permanent criminal record, and you could even lose custody or parental rights for your children. Before you make any life-changing decisions, talk to a family and domestic violence lawyer in Denton to learn more about your options.
Attorney Randall Isenberg understands how challenging this situation can be. Our office would like to offer you a no-cost, no-obligation case review to answer your questions and help you decide on the next step.
Call us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule your appointment.
Does a Domestic Violence Conviction Mean Jail Time?
Many people go to jail for domestic or family violence. Whether your case lands you behind bars depends on the nature of the alleged crime, your past criminal record, and the injuries (if any) the victim may have suffered.
The statutes consider any person related to you by blood or marriage to be a family member. The victim could be:
- Any person related to you by blood or marriage (e.g., in-laws)
- Dating partner
- Ex-dating partner
- Co-parent of your child
In most cases, you need not actually harm someone for the police to charge you with domestic family violence. The threat of harm is sufficient for the state to press charges.
If you threatened someone with violence, you may face a misdemeanor charge. Conviction on a class A misdemeanor, for example, carries jail time of up to one year and a $4,000 fine.
If the victim suffered injuries, you will likely face a felony charge.
A third-degree felony carries two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A second-degree felony conviction earns you two to 20 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.
A first-degree felony means five to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
If you had a weapon or threatened to use a weapon — even if you did not show or use it — you will also face felony charges. Likewise, the prosecutor will pursue a felony conviction if the victim suffered life-threatening injuries, if the victim was a child, or if the alleged incident involved any type of breath impairment (i.e., choking, strangling, or smothering).
Even if you do not go to jail for a family violence conviction, you will have a permanent criminal record that cannot be sealed or expunged. Your record will be visible to anyone who runs a background check, such as a potential employer or landlord. It may prevent you from holding a professional license or from getting custody of your children.
Upon conviction for felony domestic violence, you will lose your ability to vote, sit on a jury, own or possess a firearm, or even obtain a hunting and fishing license.
What Can a Domestic Violence Lawyer Do to Help?
The most significant challenge you may face in a family violence case is how little evidence the police and prosecutor need to pursue charges against you.
To place you under arrest, the police do not need any witnesses or even solid evidence. Once officers respond to a domestic violence call, they will likely take someone to jail — and it typically will not be the alleged victim.
In fact, even if the alleged victim later recants her story and expresses an unwillingness to pursue charges, the prosecutor can (and usually will) go forward with criminal charges.
Having a family and domestic violence lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg on your side can help your case.
We will protect your legal rights and represent you through every aspect of your criminal case. We will evaluate the evidence to identify any potential violations of your rights or errors the police may have made before, during, and after your arrest.
If our team identifies weaknesses in the case, we can use those to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charges. If your case must go to trial, we can identify solid legal strategies for building your defense.
One of the most common legal strategies for fighting family or domestic violence charges is to claim self-defense or the defense of others. We may also recommend a defense strategy based on:
- A lack of intent;
- A misunderstanding or mistake; or
- False accusations made by the alleged victim.
In some cases, we may recommend a diversion program or another type of preemptive strategy. This may help convince the prosecutor and the judge that you sincerely regret the incident in question and have committed to making positive life changes.
If the prosecutor will not agree to reduce the charges, we may recommend going to trial. Although a trial can be difficult for everyone involved, the prosecution must meet a high burden of proof in court. Our team can call on critical resources, such as investigators, psychologists, and subject matter experts to provide testimony in your defense.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Family Domestic Violence Lawyer in Denton.
It is important that you understand what these charges may mean to your future and your family. A domestic violence attorney can explain your options and help you make an informed decision for your future.
Attorney Randall Isenberg has worked to provide comprehensive criminal defense for his clients for years. He brings a wealth of experience to your defense, including time as a federal district court judge and chief felony prosecutor. His knowledge and insight into the Texas legal system can be invaluable for building a strong case and fighting for your future.
We offer a complimentary consultation to answer your questions and help you decide on the next step. Schedule your free consultation today: 214-696-9253.