Potential penalties for a domestic violence conviction include fines, jail or prison time, and a permanent loss of reputation and civil rights. Such penalties can have both short-term and long-term consequences on your career, relationships, and emotional health.
If you are facing a family or domestic violence charge in Rockwall, Texas, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg would like to help.
What Does a Rockwall Family and Domestic Violence Lawyer Do?
A defense attorney from our firm can advocate for you both in and out of the courtroom. By performing the following tasks, our goal is to advocate for your fair treatment and give you the best possible defense:
- Explain your options: No two cases are alike. We will help you decide which path is best for you and make course corrections as necessary.
- Investigate the charges: If proof exists of your innocence or there are holes in the accuser’s story, we will use it to strengthen your defense.
- Seek a dismissal: Sometimes, the evidence we find is so compelling that a judge will dismiss your case entirely. This is the best-case scenario.
- Argue for a reduced charge: Even if we cannot get the case dismissed, we can argue for a lesser charge that carries lighter penalties.
- Advocate for you at trial: Our team will do all of the work at trial, presenting arguments and evidence on your behalf.
- Advise you: You probably have a lot of questions about your case. You also may have trouble thinking clearly, given the severity of the potential consequences. We are here to provide you with the answers you need.
No matter how serious the charges against you are, we can help you with your case. A member of our team can get you started with a free consultation.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence—legally called “family violence” in Texas—is a serious offense. The types of penalties you face will depend on whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and if you have prior convictions.
Misdemeanor crimes rank from Class C to Class A, with Class A being the most serious. According to the Texas Politics Project, you may incur penalties such as:
- A fine: The maximum fine for a misdemeanor conviction ranges from $500 to $4,000.
- Jail time: For short sentences, you are sent to jail rather than prison. After a misdemeanor conviction, your sentence may range from 6 to 12 months.
Felonies are the most serious type of crime. They rank from state jail felonies to first-degree felonies, with first-degree felonies being the most serious. Penalties may include:
- A fine: All family violence felonies carry a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Prison time: For state jail felonies, you could be out of prison in 6 months. For the most serious offenses, you could spend the rest of your life in prison.
The more times you are convicted of the same or a similar crime, the more severe the penalties become. For instance, according to the Office of the Attorney General, an initial assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor. A subsequent charge is a third-degree felony.
How do Family Violence Penalties Affect You?
The penalties of conviction discussed above can derail your life in many ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Your employer may fire you due to the conviction or the time you will miss while in jail or prison.
- Your friends and family may change their opinion of you or even refuse to associate with you.
- You may lose the right to vote, own a gun, or work for the federal government (if convicted of a felony).
- You may struggle financially due to loss of employment or having to pay hefty fines and fees.
- Your self-image and your mental health may suffer during prison time or if you are unable to obtain employment in the future.
Because these penalties can have such negative and long-lasting effects on your life, building the strongest defense possible is vital. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you create that defense.
What is Family Violence?
The term “family violence” describes a broad range of crimes. As defined in Texas Family Code §71, family violence may be committed against:
- A blood relative
- An adopted relative
- A spouse
- A romantic partner
- Anyone who lives in the same household
- Anyone who used to live in the same household
Examples of behaviors that constitute family violence include:
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Emotional trauma
- Failure to stop any of the above
A person may also allege family violence if they believe they were threatened with any of the above behaviors. The accuser may even request a protective order from a judge. If awarded, a protective order can further affect your movements and your personal life.
Get Help With Your Case Today From an Attorney
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we know how frightening it is to face criminal charges. Let a Rockwall family and domestic violence lawyer from our firm do everything possible to make the law work for you. Call us at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.