Family and domestic violence charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor—the lowest-level charge you can face—to a first-degree felony. Misdemeanors typically carry fines and jail time of up to one year, but a felony—especially a higher-order felony—can have serious lifelong consequences, including fines of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 99 years. You may also have to pay restitution to the alleged victim.
In Colleyville, one of our attorneys can help you understand the different charges, penalties, and defenses commonly seen in family and domestic violence cases. These charges should not be taken lightly, and our team would like to assist with your defense.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges We Can Help You Fight
Texas law recognizes three broad categories of domestic violence, as follows.
This involves threats or acts of violence against someone with whom you have an intimate relationship. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), domestic assault cases commonly involve:
- Current and former spouses
- Current and former dating partners
- Foster children and foster parents
- Blood relatives
- Adopted relatives
The legal definition of assault means physical injury or the threat of such injury to anyone in these categories. The acts in question can be intentional or reckless, including physical contact that is typically considered dangerous or offensive.
Aggravated Domestic assault
This is a higher-order charge that involves acts that can or did lead to serious bodily injury or the threat of such injury with a deadly weapon.
Continuous Violence Against Your Family
If you are accused of committing two or more domestic assaults within 12 months, you may face charges of continuous violence against your family.
Penalties You Could Face
Depending on the category of the crimes you are accused of you can face the following penalties:
- Fines of up to $4,000, one year in jail, or both for a Class A misdemeanor
- Fines of up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in prison for a third-degree felony
- Fines of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in prison for a second-degree felony
- Fines of up to $10,000 and between five and 99 years in prison for a first-degree felony
How We Can Help You Fight Family and Domestic Violence Charges
Texas laws on family violence fall under Texas Family Code Chapter 71. Based on these laws, your attorney will attempt to fight the domestic violence charges you face by answering the following questions:
- What information does the police have about the incident?
- Is there a 9-1-1 recording of the alleged victim’s call regarding the incident?
- Is there a medical report on the cause, date, and extent of your accuser’s alleged injuries?
- Did you ever face any previous allegations of abuse?
- Is there any evidence that puts you at the scene of the crime?
- Did drugs, alcohol, or the alleged victim’s actions in any way cause or contribute to his or her injuries?
Based on our findings on the above, we can fight the charges you face in several ways. Below is a brief outline of each defense we could use.
Someone Else was Responsible
You may claim that your accuser suffered abuse or injuries at the hands of someone else. In this case, we can look for evidence of your whereabouts at the time of the crime or an alternate alibi that establishes your innocence.
Your Accuser is Lying
It is not uncommon for current or past intimate partners to fabricate stories against their significant others or ex-partners.
By reviewing your version of events and evaluating the consistency of your accuser’s account with the official police report on the incident, we can potentially show that the two versions do not add up. Thus, we may argue there is not enough evidence to incriminate you.
It was an Accident
If this is your defense, it means you do not deny that you were there when your accuser became injured, but that the injuries in question occurred unintentionally.
We will look for evidence that corroborates your version of what happened and attempt to demonstrate that the injuries you are accused of causing or the actions you are accused of committing were accidental and not intentional.
You Were Defending Yourself or Others
You can fight the charges levied against you by stating that you were defending yourself against an attack by your partner. This defense will require an investigation into the police report on the incident, an assessment of why the victim may have attempted to attack you, and evidence to show that your or their injuries are consistent with you defending yourself from an attack.
You could also fight domestic abuse charges by demonstrating that you had valid grounds for committing the acts you are being accused of. This defense could work if, for example, your accuser assaulted your children.
There are Procedural Issues with Your Case
You could potentially have the charges against you dismissed if the police who interrogated you:
- Neglected to record the interrogation
- Did not read your Miranda rights when taking you into their custody
- Denied your request to have a lawyer present during questioning
If there was no probable cause for the police to arrest you, search your property, or interrogate you, you can fight the charges you face on these grounds as well.
One of our family and domestic violence attorneys in Colleyville can help you choose the appropriate defense based on the specifics of your case and any evidence that your accuser or the police may have against you.
Contact Our Attorneys Today for Legal Assistance with Your Case
Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you fight the domestic violence or family abuse charges you face. Do not hesitate to call us today at (214) 696-9253.
One of our domestic and family violence attorneys can help you gather evidence, understand the laws that apply to your case, and handle all of the relevant legal formalities of your defense.