If you have been charged with domestic violence, you probably do not need to be told how serious these accusations are. A domestic violence conviction can result in heavy penalties, and the charge itself can affect your reputation. If you are committed to fighting back and forging an unimpeachable defense, you deserve the assistance of a Farmers Branch domestic violence lawyer.
An attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can assist you with every aspect of your case. Our firm’s senior partner, Randall B. Isenberg, has more than thirty years of experience in the legal field. He has worked as a prosecutor and a state judge. As a result, we have the experience needed to see your case from all sides and help you formulate the best possible defense.
Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence generally concerns violence committed against one family member by another. Texas Family Code § 71.003 considers physical violence, sexual abuse, and threats of violence to be family violence, and any such incidents can result in a domestic violence charge.
Charges can be filed due to your actions against any members of your household, not just blood relatives. Abuse against former members of your household can also result in domestic violence charges. Complainants may include:
- A spouse or partner
- A former spouse or partner
- Foster children
- Someone you are dating
Whether there is the threat of violence or the accusation of physical abuse, domestic violence charges are taken seriously by the state of Texas.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges
The specific types of charges in a domestic violence case can vary. Common charges include:
- Domestic assault: Texas Penal Code §22.01 defines assault in multiple ways. You can be charged with assault for intentionally or recklessly harming someone. You can also be charged for threatening physical violence against someone in your household.
- Aggravated domestic assault: In these cases, other circumstances have convinced the state to file more serious charges against you. If a weapon was used or a physical assault left behind particularly serious injuries, you can be charged with aggravated domestic assault instead of domestic assault.
- Continuous violence against the family: Someone who commits more than two domestic assaults in twelve months can be charged with continuous violence against the family, a felony.
- Dating violence: This charge can be leveled against you if you are accused of violence against someone you are dating or dated in the past, even if they are not a member of your household. Per Texas Family Code §71.0021, this charge can also extend to former spouses or anyone who has applied for a protective order against the defendant.
Domestic Violence Penalties and Punishments
Punishments for domestic violence can vary based on the severity of the charge and the accused’s criminal history. Generally, a domestic assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year. However, other circumstances of your case can often result in your domestic violence charge becoming a felony charge that calls for harsher penalties.
A felony domestic violence charge can result in higher fines, sometimes as high as $10,000. A jail sentence for a felony conviction also lasts for at least two years, and it can last much longer if you have other criminal offenses on your record.
Aside from fees, those convicted of domestic violence might also be subject to:
- Mandatory counseling
- Probation sentences
- Anger management classes
- The payment of restitution to victims
This is why Farmers Branch residents may want to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer when they are charged with such crimes. You have the right to a vigorous defense, and we can help you with that.
How a Lawyer Can Assist You
Your lawyer will do everything possible to build a case and form your defense. This can require them to:
- Collect evidence: We can work with our investigators to find evidence and counterevidence that makes your case. Is there surveillance footage of the event in question? Were there witnesses? Did you have an alibi? We will investigate every lead and do everything we can to present you with the best possible defense.
- Show the state has not met its burden of proof: A domestic violence charge is a serious accusation, so the state has a high burden of proof to reach to secure a conviction. Your lawyer will show how the state has not met those high standards and do their best to convince the jury that you should be found “not guilty.”
- Answer any questions you have: This is a scary situation for most defendants, and it can also be confusing. If you have any questions, your lawyer is ready to answer them and put your mind at ease as best they can.
- Negotiate plea deals: If the case does not seem to be going in your favor, your lawyer can help you negotiate a plea deal. This involves you pleading guilty, but getting a lesser sentence than you might have if the case had proceeded and you had been convicted. It could mean lower fines, less jail time, or even probation and counseling instead of a prison sentence. Your lawyer will do their best to negotiate a fair deal for you.
- Help you deal with professional issues: Your attorney can also help you deal with professional issues stemming from your case. If you have a professional license in Texas, regulators in your industry might begin investigations against you due to your domestic violence charge. We can help you navigate this and fight for your professional reputation.
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges
Each situation is different, so we’ll look at the unique circumstances of your case to figure out which kind of defense would be best. Your lawyer might say that you were acting in self-defense or defense of someone else. They could also show that the accusation was false or came about due to a case of mistaken identity.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you have been charged with domestic violence, do not delay. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg and ask about your complimentary legal consultation. We will help you learn more about your legal options and what a domestic violence attorney in Farmers Branch can do to assist you. Begin building your defense today.