Offenses involving domestic assault or family violence in Texas can be very serious crimes, resulting in severe penalties, such as incarceration, steep fines, a tarnished criminal record, and more. For these reasons, if you’ve been charged with an offense related to domestic violence, you deserve to have a legal advocate on your side who is unafraid to go toe-to-toe with prosecutors on your behalf.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we’re here to fight back if law enforcement attempts to circumvent your rights. We understand there are two sides to every story, and we’ll stand with you to ensure yours is heard. Protecting your freedom, future, and reputation is our goal. A Little Elm domestic violence lawyer from our team will strive to get you through this challenging time and back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Family Violence Offenses in Texas
Some common family violence offenses in Texas include:
- Domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault
- Continuous violence against the family
- Protective order violations
- Unlawful restraint
- Child abuse
Tex. Penal Code § 22.01 states that a person can be charged with an assaultive offense if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Cause bodily injury to someone
- Threaten someone with imminent bodily injury
- Cause physical contact with another individual when the alleged offender should have reasonably known that the individual would perceive the contact as offensive or suggestive
To be charged with a domestic assault offense, the alleged victim must be a family or household member, a co-parent or former spouse, or a person with whom they are dating or in a romantic relationship. Furthermore, a person can be charged with aggravated domestic assault if they cause serious injury or commit assault with a deadly weapon in one of these instances.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Little Elm
Texas law outlines several penalties for family violence offenses in Texas. However, these can vary depending on whether the victim suffered severe bodily injury, the defendant used a weapon, or the alleged offender has a criminal record. According to the Office of the Texas Attorney General, punishments may include, but are not limited to:
- Class A misdemeanor when the victim is placed in imminent danger of injury – up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000
- Class C misdemeanor domestic assault when the alleged offender made threats of harm or initiated offensive or suggestive contact – fine of up to $500
- First-degree felony aggravated domestic assault or child abuse – 5-99 years in prison and a fine of not more than $10,000.
- Second-degree felony domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, child abuse, or stalking – 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
What Responsibilities does a Little Elm Domestic Violence Attorney Have?
The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to oversee almost every aspect of their client’s case. Therefore, they are responsible for the following and more:
Being Knowledgeable of the Law
A defense attorney must have more than a passing knowledge of the law—they must be well-versed in the law as it applies to your charges and the ins and outs of the legal process to help protect you throughout criminal investigations and court proceedings.
Understanding the Case Being Presented
Initially, your Little Elm domestic violence attorney will be responsible for learning about you and your case. Their job is to understand the details of the events that occurred from your perspective. From there, you and your legal counsel will discuss the best possible outcomes of the situation and what results you can realistically expect.
Investigating and Collecting Information
Your attorney’s next role is to investigate the case deeper and gather information. They will analyze all aspects of the case, review the prosecution’s evidence, and interview witnesses. The more detailed information your lawyer can collect before the trial, the more effectively they can defend you in court.
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Defending the Client in Trial
Unquestionably, a defense lawyer’s greatest responsibility is effectively defending their clients in court. Your lawyer may spend significant time devising a strategy for your trial, including analyzing the prosecution’s arguments and preparing ways to oppose them.
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Keeping the Defendant Updated
Another responsibility of a criminal defense lawyer is to ensure you are up-to-date on all matters pertaining to your case. If your attorney is notified of any changes, events, or emerging evidence throughout the legal process, whether or not it directly concerns you, it is their job to inform you promptly.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Offenses
When facing legal allegations of domestic assault or family violence, you must understand the criminal defenses feasible under the circumstances and your legal rights. A Little Elm domestic violence attorney with experience handling these cases can put these defenses to work to preserve your freedom and reputation as much as possible.
If you are being prosecuted for a felony charge, your legal counsel must prepare a defense to present to a grand jury. A compelling evidence report could convince jurors to reduce the charges to a lesser misdemeanor offense or even dismiss them. Potential defenses you and your attorney may use to support your case include:
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No Bodily Injury Occurred
If the prosecution claims you committed domestic assault or violence, they must prove that you made physical contact with the alleged victim that caused them pain or injured them in some way. If there are no pictures or medical records, the prosecutor must primarily rely on the victim’s statements.
Although this evidence is not required, their case will be weaker if they don’t provide objective proof showing an injury occurred, let alone one that the alleged offender caused.
There Was No Criminal Intent
Per Texas law, a domestic violence offender must have committed the act “intentionally or knowingly.” Moreover, the alleged victim’s injury may have resulted from an accident rather than a deliberate act.
It’s common for angry or emotional victims to contend that the other person acted willfully. However, later, they may reflect on the incident and realize that perhaps the alleged offense was not intentional after all. According to the Legal Information Institute, this is also known as exculpatory evidence, and it may provide you with an excellent opportunity to have your domestic violence charges dismissed.
Your legal counsel may determine that this defense is viable due to the alleged victim’s statements. In that case, your lawyer must collect the information using an affidavit of non-prosecution—a written statement by the alleged domestic violence victim requesting the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
If the victim can provide evidence through an affidavit, your attorney may be able to use this to establish reasonable doubt. This would offer you and your lawyer more leverage to negotiate for a more favorable outcome.
Dubious Witness Credibility
If the alleged victim’s statement doesn’t make sense, is inconsistent with police report findings, or contradicts eyewitness recollections, these issues may allow your defense attorney to demonstrate the victim’s statements aren’t reliable.
For example, the victim may have a motive to lie, such as in a custody battle or divorce case. If the accuser has a reason to be deceptive, it is a critical issue that needs addressing when your attorney is defending you against your domestic violence charges.
Start Working With a Little Elm Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Texas, we are eager to offer you a confidential case review so we can analyze your unique situation and determine the various ways we can assist you. Please contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free consultation.
Call or text (214) 696-9253 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form