In Texas, a family or domestic violence conviction can disrupt your life, with large fines, potential jail or prison time, and a permanent criminal record.
To protect your future, you need a family and domestic violence lawyer in Rockwall to protect your rights and help you make important decisions about your case.
Attorney Randall Isenberg understands how challenging this experience can be. His experience as a criminal defense lawyer, felony prosecutor, and state district court judge give him the experience and skills you need on your side.
Contact our office for help: 214-696-9253.
How Do the Texas Statutes Define Domestic or Family Violence?
In Texas, the Family Code states that family violence or domestic violence involves threatening to or committing a violent act against any member of your family or household, which includes (but is not necessarily limited to) any of the following:
- Your current spouse
- Your former spouse
- Any relative (blood or in laws)
- Step- or foster parents
- Your child’s co-parent (blood, foster, or step)
- Current and former roommates
Essentially, the statutes encompass people with whom you have, or have ever had, a domestic or familial relationship.
You do not have to inflict any harm to have violated these statutes; the threat to do harm is sufficient for a criminal violation.
Will I Go to Jail for Domestic or Family Violence?
You could easily land in jail based on an allegation of family or domestic violence.
The severity of the charges you could face depends on the nature of the incident, your prior criminal record, and any injuries suffered by your accuser.
Threatening someone may carry basic misdemeanor charges with fines but no jail time. If you used a weapon (or even threatened to use a weapon), or if your accuser suffered any injuries, the prosecutor may file felony charges. If the victim reported any strangulation, choking, or smothering; if the prosecutor deems the incident to have threatened the victim’s life; or if the incident involved a child, you will likely face serious felony charges.
Based on the specific charges that the prosecutor files, the penalties for conviction are as follows.
Type of Charge
|Misdemeanor – Class C||None||up to $500|
|Misdemeanor – Class A||up to 1 year||up to $4,000|
|Felony: Third-Degree||2 to 10 years||up to $10,000|
|Felony: Second-Degree||2 to 20 years||up to $10,000|
|Felony: First-Degree||5 to 99 years||up to $10,000|
How Else Will a Family Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Me?
Potential fines and jail or prison time are not the only penalties you will suffer for a family domestic violence conviction. The permanent criminal record that follows a conviction will follow you throughout your life, and cannot be sealed or expunged.
This permanent blot on your record can prevent you from holding many types of professional licenses. It can interfere with your ability to get a job or rent a home. It can also cost you dearly in custody cases.
A conviction can also potentially interfere with your ability to live in your own home, if the judge issues a no-contact order for someone who lives with you.
Finally, if your conviction was for a felony offense, you cannot legally own or possess a gun again, or even obtain a hunting or fishing license
Can a Family or Domestic Violence Lawyer Help Me?
The law is not on your side in Texas, if someone accuses you of committing family violence. In fact, unlike almost every other type of crime, the police do not require probable cause to arrest you for domestic violence.
The police can arrest you, even if they have no witnesses or evidence that you committed a crime.
And, even if the alleged victim recants after clearer heads prevail, the prosecutor can (and typically does) continue to pursue serious criminal charges against you.
Depending on the details of the incident, the level of charges and your prior record, fines can go as high as $10,000 and you may go to prison for life, upon conviction. Although those penalties fall at the top of the range, a 10-year prison sentence with a $10,000 fine is not uncommon.
What an attorney can do to help you is fight for your future and your future freedom.
Your attorney will scrutinize all the evidence in your case, in an attempt to identify potential weaknesses. If the police violated your rights with an illegal search and seizure, for example, your family violence lawyer can use this as a negotiating point. If the police mishandled evidence, if they questioned you before reading you your rights, or if the prosecutor lacks credible evidence, your attorney can use these factors to negotiate for a reduction in charges or a dismissal of your case.
However, if none of these strategies produce the desired result, your lawyer will prepare your case and defend you in court.
Fortunately, the prosecutor’s burden of proof is high. He must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and intentionally threatened or harmed the alleged victim.
To challenge those allegations, a family and domestic violence attorney can potentially argue that you acted in self-defense, in defense of your property, or even in defense of another person. Other potential defense strategies include false or exaggerated accusations as well as misunderstanding.
Throughout the entire process, your lawyer will advocate for you and protect your legal rights, ensuring that you understand your options and make the best choices to protect your future.
Meet with a Family/Domestic Violence Lawyer in Rockwall AT NO COST
Do not delay in seeking legal help if you were arrested for or charged with domestic or family violence. The longer you wait, the higher your risk of going to jail or prison.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a free case review with a family and domestic violence lawyer in Rockwall. This allows us to answer all your questions and help you understand your options.
Contact us to schedule your appointment. You can reach us any time at 214-696-9253.