Many families experience heated conflict in which arguments occur. Sometimes, these get so out of hand that a physical altercation ensues, and someone calls the police. Unfortunately, law enforcement often chooses to resolve these situations by arresting an alleged offender based on the word of another. Now is not the time to talk to the police or your accuser. Emotions are running high, and anything you say can be misinterpreted and used against you in court.
If this has happened to you, you may now face criminal charges and need to retain a Euless domestic violence lawyer to fight for legal rights and freedom. Therefore, we urge you to contact us at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free, confidential consultation.
How Does Texas Define Assault?
The Texas Penal Code defines an assaultive offense as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing injury to another person, threatening imminent bodily harm, or initiating physical contact with another person when the offender knows this action would be considered offensive or suggestive.
Family violence is distinct from other types of assault in that it includes only offenses committed against a family member, household resident, or romantic (dating) partner. Domestic crimes also include aggravated assault, sexual assault, and child abuse.
Penalties related to these charges range from relatively minor to severe.
Why You Need a Solid Defense Strategy
The outcome of a domestic or family violence case can alter your life beyond measure. A conviction with harsh penalties could lead to long-term incarceration and permanently tarnish your criminal record. Therefore, we will examine the factors in your case to ensure any potential arguments are thoroughly vetted. We will then use this information to develop an effective defense strategy that may include one or more of the following:
Self-defense is a common reason that can be used to explain any assault charge, including those related to family violence.
You are justified in using appropriate force against another if you have reason to believe the force is necessary to protect yourself against the other individual’s forceful actions. It is unnecessary to wait until the other person has used unlawful force against you to assert self-defense. Your belief that they will imminently do so is enough.
The Defense of Another
Texas law Sec. 9.32. states that you are within your legal rights to protect another individual from the forceful actions of a third party, even if this party is a family or household member. All that is required is that you have reason to believe that the person under attack would be acting in self-defense if they could protect themselves against the third party’s unlawful force. Retaliative actions, in this case, can even include deadly force if necessary.
Also, if you assert you were under duress, such as if your accuser provoked you, you could use this as a defense. In doing so, you maintain your involvement in a physical altercation was justified because the other person’s actions or words threatened you or someone else with impending injury or death.
Unfortunately, there are several reasons a person might claim that a family or household member physically harmed them. First, they may have an ulterior motive, such as using assault allegations to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody case. They may have even provoked you into physical contact for this very reason.
Other motivations are, in essence, emotional and based on the mechanics of the relationship. For example, a significant other may seek revenge against you due to feelings of spite, bitterness, rage, jealousy, etc., over an argument or situation. Family and close interpersonal relationships are complex, and unfortunately, it is often the people closest to us who can hurt us the most.
For these reasons, it is vital to obtain any evidence that suggests your accuser is not being entirely forthcoming about the incident. Your attorney may do this by identifying inconsistencies in their statements, interviewing eyewitnesses, or asking someone who can provide you with an alibi to testify on your behalf.
Euless Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
When an accuser has sustained visible injuries, and there is any question about their origin, you and your legal team must determine how they were caused. For example, a person seeking to accuse you of assault might deliberately hit themselves, slip and fall, or run into a wall and then blame you for their external injuries when the police arrive.
Again, having access to medical experts and hospital records may help create doubt as to whether an accuser’s injuries were self-inflicted or not. This is not always easy to determine, but it’s an excellent strategy to explore, especially if you believe you could prove you did not cause the alleged victim’s injuries.
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As noted above, Texas law states that for an assault charge, the accused has to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause the victim’s injury. It may be relatively uncommon, but an accuser can seek charges against you if you accidentally cause them harm. For example, if a person slips and falls into their date and causes an injury or physical contact they deem offensive, this is not considered assault.
So why would a person do this? It might be because they seek to collect money from you or your insurer through a personal injury claim, and a criminal arrest or charge is a good place to start building a viable case for themselves.
If you ever get discouraged, remember there are many ways to dismantle a criminal case, and it doesn’t always come down to defense strategies. For example, law enforcement may have committed errors and rights violations. In addition, your attorney might identify legal technicalities that could lead to a favorable plea bargain or a case dismissal.
Talk to a Euless Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Randall B. Isenberg, we believe that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty and deserves access to the very best defense available. So, if you’ve been charged with domestic assault or family violence, please get in touch with us as soon as possible and discover how we will fight for your best interests throughout the criminal justice process.
Call or text (214) 696-9253 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form