If you were arrested for family or domestic violence in Garland, you are facing significant monetary fines, time behind bars, and a permanent criminal record. Do not put your future at risk by facing these charges alone; talk to a family and domestic violence lawyer in Garland. A domestic violence attorney can explain your options and help protect your legal rights.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides professional legal representation to clients facing family domestic violence charges in Garland. Call us today at 214-696-9253 for help.
What Is Domestic or Family Violence in Texas?
The Texas statutes define family violence as the threat or commission of violent acts against your spouse, domestic partner, dating partner, roommate, or family member.
The Family Code portion of the Texas Statutes defines a family member as a person who is related to you, biologically or by marriage (in law). Besides those individuals related to you biologically, a family member may be your child’s co-parent, a co-foster parent, a current or former spouse, a current or former dating partner, or a current or former live-in partner. Even non-romantic roommates fall under this definition.
In most cases, you need not actually harm someone for the police to charge you with domestic violence. Simply the threat of imminent harm (i.e., assault) is sufficient for the state to press charges. Using or threatening to use a weapon and intimidating the alleged victim also violate the law.
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 prosecutor will charge you based on the circumstances of the incident, any injuries suffered by your accuser, and any past convictions you may have on your record.
If the incident involved only the threat of violence or incidental contact, the prosecutor will likely pursue misdemeanor charges.
If the incident caused injuries, or if you used or threatened to use a weapon, the prosecutor will likely pursue felony domestic violence charges. If the prosecutor judges the incident as life-threatening, it involved smothering, choking, or strangling, or it involved a child, the state will pursue enhanced charges.
The following chart details the potential penalties for each level of domestic violence charge.
|Type of Charge||Jail/Prison Term||Monetary Fine|
|Class C Misdemeanor||none||up to $500|
|Class A Misdemeanor||up to 1 year||up to $4,000|
|Third-Degree Felony||2 to 10 years||up to $10,000|
|Second-Degree Felony||2 to 20 years||up to $10,000|
|First-Degree Felony||5 to 99 years||up to $10,000|
The prosecutor has discretion for determining the level of charges to file, based on what the victim experienced. If the incident especially traumatized the accuser, if the accuser sustained severe injuries, or if the accuser feared for her life, the state will likely elevate the charges.
If you contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg immediately, we can intervene on your behalf and, in many cases, convince the prosecutor to pursue a less serious charge.
How Does a Family Domestic Violence Conviction Affect My Future?
The most significant consequence of a domestic family violence conviction is a permanent criminal record.
And, the court will never expunge or seal your conviction.
This can affect every aspect of your life, from child custody decisions to getting a job. You will never again be able to legally own or possess a firearm or hunting license. You might not even be able to obtain a fishing license with a domestic violence conviction on your record.
If you work (or ever wish to work) in a field that requires professional licensure, you may want to consider another line of work. A domestic family violence conviction may lead to licensure issues for teachers, realtors, medical professionals, attorneys, hair stylists, and others.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Fight Domestic Family Violence Charges?
In Texas, the police do not need any witnesses or corroborating evidence to arrest you on a family domestic violence charge. Once your accuser makes a police report, the state will proceed with criminal charges — even if your accuser later recants or does not want to pursue legal action.
Upon conviction for these charges, you may go to jail — potentially for as long as 99 years, depending on the specific charges you face. Monetary fines range from $500 all the way to $10,000.
An attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you fight for your freedom and your future by building a strong case in your defense.
We can obtain and analyze the prosecution’s evidence to determine the strength of the state’s case. Because the prosecution must prove every element of its case to win a conviction, we can identify potential areas of weakness and capitalize on them to your benefit.
If our team identifies questionable information in the police report, especially if witness statements fail to support the report’s version of the incident, we can negotiate for reduced charges or even a full dismissal.
If this approach does not work, your lawyer can begin building a case to defend you in court.
Some potential defense strategies include:
- Defense of others
- False accusations
Your attorney may also argue that the incident in question was simply an accident or misunderstanding.
If the state has a strong case against you, your lawyer may recommend that you take preemptive steps to help reduce your sentence. This may involve enrolling in a counseling or anger management program. This conveys to the court your willingness to make positive life changes.
However your case proceeds, your attorney will ensure that you understand your options and make the best possible choice for your future.
Schedule a FREE Consultation With a Garland Domestic Violence Lawyer.
The sooner you engage the services of a family domestic violence attorney, the sooner your lawyer can start building a case for your defense. Randall Isenberg, of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, will help protect your legal rights and negotiate with the prosecutor to potentially have your charges reduced or dismissed.
And, if necessary, we will represent you in court and attempt the best possible outcome for your case.
Randall has more than 30 years’ experience, including time spent working as a felony prosecutor and district court judge. This in-depth knowledge of the legal system can help you get the results you seek.
Contact our office today to schedule a free case review: 214-696-9253.