Harris County courts take family violence charges very seriously. The District Attorney even has a special division to prosecute domestic violence charges.
A domestic violence charge could include the violation of two statutes:
- Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, Assault
- Title 4, Subtitle A, Chapter 71, Section 71.004, Family Violence
These charges can cover assault and sexual assault. A first-time domestic assault charge with no weapons is a Class A misdemeanor. Aggravated domestic assault is a felony and is used when the charge includes use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury. If you are found to have committed two domestic assaults within 12 months, you could be charged with a third degree felony for “continuous violence against the family.”
The act must be committed against a family member by blood, marriage or adoption, or a current or former romantic partner or member of your household, or the child of a current or former spouse.
It’s easy to panic when charged with this crime, but you should try to avoid these mistakes.
Talking to the Cops
So many domestic violence defendants are sure that they can work this all out if they just help the police see their point of view. Unfortunately, when you attempt to do this you usually just hand the police a pile of evidence to use against you.
Invoke your right to remain silent, invoke your right to an attorney, and keep your mouth shut.
Ignoring Protection Orders
At your arraignment you’ll usually end up with an Order of Protection that will forbid or limit your contact with the alleged victims.
This can even mean that you can’t enter your own home, and it means that you can’t communicate with the victim, even to try to arrange a way to get items out of your home. You may also be ordered to pay child support and medical support, even if you are barred from seeing your children.
If you break a protection order you’ll be facing additional criminal charges. In addition, you might create new evidence for prosecutors to use against you.
Believing It Will All Just Go Away
Your spouse can’t just decide to “drop charges” in order to get you out of a domestic violence charge. Once police and prosecutors are involved, prosecutors and judges become the only ones who can drop or dismiss charges.
As soon as you are accused of domestic violence charges you need to work closely with a criminal defense attorney to protect your freedom.
Failing to End the Relationship
Once a spouse has accused you of domestic violence you are in a precarious position ever after, even if your defense lawyer manages to get the charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced. Chances are this relationship can’t be salvaged and if you go back you might soon finding yourself facing the harsher charges that can come with being seen as a repeat offender.
Take all the steps you can take to prevent an incident in the future. If you did share some portion of the guilt, look into counseling and anger management as well.
Get Help Today
You should take any domestic violence charge very seriously. It can be life changing.
Our team works hard to minimize the effects of a domestic violence charge. If you’re in trouble, don’t delay. Call our office and get help today.
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