If you or a loved one is facing allegations of domestic violence, the consequences of a conviction can be enormous and permanent. With jail time, fines, your family, and your future on the line, you cannot afford to leave your defense to chance.
An Arlington domestic violence lawyer can help protect your rights and your future at every step of the process. Call Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for a free consultation.
Domestic Violence Charges in Texas
According to Texas law, domestic violence is defined as assault against a member of your family, a member of your household, or a current or former dating partner. This includes intentionally or recklessly:
- Threatening to cause bodily harm to another person
- Causing bodily harm to another person
- Physically contacting another person in a way the victim finds offensive
Severity of Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on both the severity of the allegations and your record of past offenses.
Aggravating factors that could elevate your charges include the victim’s relationship to the accused, the accused’s past convictions, the motivation behind the incident, and whether the alleged domestic assault involved suffocation or strangling.
If you or a loved one is facing a domestic violence charge, a criminal defense lawyer in Arlington can help you understand the charges against you, what they mean for your future, and what you can do to protect yourself against them.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
If you are convicted of domestic violence in Texas, you will be facing fines, jail time, or a prison sentence depending on the severity of your charges, as seen in the table below:
|Class C Misdemeanor||Up to $500||None|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Up to $4,000||Up to 1 year in jail|
|3rd-Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 10 years in prison|
|2nd-Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 20 years in prison|
|1st-Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
The court may also require the defendant to pay restitution to the victim. This means you could also be liable for the plaintiff’s medical treatments, counseling, or damaged property on top of your other penalties. A family violence lawyer in Arlington can help you fight for reduced penalties if you are convicted.
Lasting Effects of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In addition to any fines or jail time required by the court, there are other ramifications of a domestic violence conviction. These include:
- Being barred from owning or possessing a firearm
- Being ineligible for Texas fishing or hunting licenses
- Additional hardships during divorce or custody battles
- Professional license suspensions
Domestic violence convictions cannot be expunged, which means your only chance to keep the charge off your record is to successfully defend yourself against the allegations you face. A domestic violence lawyer in Arlington can help protect your future by helping you craft a vigorous defense.
How a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Arlington Can Help
Attorney Randall B. Isenberg has more than 30 years of experience as a prosecutor, judge, and criminal defense attorney. He understands how the prosecution thinks, what the judge is looking for, and how to use that information to build a strong case in your defense.
Our team has represented first-time offenders and repeat offenders alike and knows which strategies are likely to succeed given the details of your specific case. Here are just a few of the things we can do to help with your defense.
Build a Strong, Credible Defense
Our experience in handling sensitive issues means we know how to protect your rights throughout the legal process. We will ensure that the government meets the heavy burden of proof required to secure a conviction, and we will mount a vigorous defense that challenges the evidence the prosecution is trying to use against you.
Some of the strategies we may be able to use in your domestic violence defense include demonstrating that you were:
- Acting in self-defense
- Acting in the defense of a third party
- Mistaken for someone else
- Falsely accused
- Unaware that your actions constituted domestic violence
- A first-time offender who made a mistake
Pursue Deferred Adjudication
Our team may be able to secure an offer of deferred adjudication from the court on your behalf. This requires the defendant to plead guilty to a charge of domestic assault, but the sentence is postponed as long as the defendant agrees to submit to probation and other requirements, such as paying restitution to the victim and performing community service.
Completing all the court’s requirements will result in the dismissal of your charges. The arrest, deferral, and dismissal will still be part of the defendant’s criminal record. Deferred adjudication is typically only offered to first-time offenders who were not charged with aggravated domestic assault.
Pursue Reduced Sentencing
By demonstrating your willingness to make positive changes in your life, such as by signing up for anger management classes or counseling, we can show the court that you are taking proactive steps to prevent future problems. This can lead to a more favorable outcome during sentencing.
Protect Your Professional Licenses
Many of our clients are nurses, lawyers, brokers, therapists, doctors, or other professionals who must hold specific licenses to maintain their employment. If you or a loved one is facing disciplinary matters related to your professional license after being convicted of domestic assault, our team can help handle these issues for you.
Arlington Domestic Violence FAQ
When you have been accused of domestic violence in Arlington, it is important to take action to clear your name. However, you may have many unanswered questions about what to expect from the charges against you and your trial.
Below, we have provided the answers to some of the top questions surrounding domestic violence charges in Arlington. If you have additional questions that were not answered here, be sure to contact our office to discuss your concerns in greater detail.
What Happens If a Restraining Order is Taken Out Against Me?
There are two types of protective orders that could be taken out against you when you have been accused of domestic violence. These include emergency protective orders (EPOs) and preliminary protective orders (PPOs).
Emergency protective orders are issued once an act of domestic violence has occurred, but not necessarily when a criminal offense has occurred. Preliminary protective orders are granted when emergency protective orders are about to expire.
Once a restraining or protective order has been taken out against you, you must follow the restrictions or risk further penalties. This might include avoiding contact with the person who accused you of domestic violence, staying away from your home, and other restrictions.
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What Happens If I’m Accused of Violating a Protective Order?
Violating a protective order in Arlington is a serious offense. If you are found in violation of a protective order, you may be facing jail or prison time.
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What Is the Difference Between Assault and Domestic Violence?
The primary difference between assault and domestic violence charges is that domestic violence charges must occur between family members whereas assault does not require this stipulation. Criminal charges that may constitute domestic violence include:
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual battery
It is also important to know that you can face both assaulting battery charges and domestic violence charges in relation to the same offense.
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How Will Domestic Violence Charges Impact My Child Custody Case?
If you have a protective order in place that includes your child, you may be restricted from communicating or having quality time with your child for the duration of the protective order. If you are found guilty of domestic violence charges in Arlington, your child custody case could be significantly affected.
For example, you may be required to find alternative housing, be granted only visitation rights, and be required to help maintain the home your children are living in by paying water bills, rent, electric, and other necessary expenses.
If you hope to avoid losing custody of your child or having your visitation rights limited due to a domestic violence conviction, it is critical to take action to dodge a guilty verdict. By working with your attorney to develop a powerful defense strategy, you may be able to avoid the harsh penalties of a domestic violence conviction in Arlington.
Call Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
If you or a loved one is facing a domestic violence charge, you do not have to face the challenges of navigating the legal system alone. Our team is proud of our results and is ready to fight for your rights.
Learn more about what an Arlington domestic violence lawyer can do for you today. Call Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free consultation and check out our client testimonials to find out what clients liked about working with us.