Fighting to Protect Your Legal Rights and Reputation
If you have been arrested in connection with a domestic violence case, you must obtain qualified legal representation immediately. A conviction for a domestic violence assault charge can result in you being subject to an emergency protective order where you are not allowed to return home, spend time with your children, or possess firearms.
In addition, charges related to domestic abuse can have a lasting negative impact on your life and make it challenging to obtain specific types of employment, attend institutions of hiring learning, or obtain child custody rights.
However, the legal team of the Cory Roth Law Office realizes that often, the alleged victim makes false allegations against a defendant. Any domestic violence allegation should be taken seriously regardless of the factors involved.
Therefore, do not delay hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney to evaluate your case and protect your legal rights. Contact the Cory Roth Law Office and ask to schedule a confidential case evaluation to determine your legal options.
What is the Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?
Under Texas law, domestic violence is broken down into family violence and dating violence.
Family violence occurs when an individual acts in a manner intended to result in bodily injury, physical harm, assault, or sexual assault, or the threat of such acts when committed against the defendant’s family or household members.
Family and household members include:
- A current or ex-spouse.
- Parent of a child of the accused.
- Foster parents or children.
Dating violence involves an act of violence committed by the accused against a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend with whom they are or have been involved in a dating relationship.
Some actions that constitute domestic violence include:
- Threat or use of a deadly weapon
If you are facing charges, contact the Cory Roth Law Office and ask to schedule an appointment with our highly trained domestic violence defense lawyer.
What Criminal Charges Are Associated With Domestic Assault?
In Texas, domestic assault charges can stem from several types of violence. One of the most common, domestic assault, occurs when the alleged perpetrator is accused of knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another.
Domestic assault may also include the threat of imminent bodily harm or initiating physical contact when the accused should have reasonably believed the contact would be considered offensive.
A first-time domestic assault against a family or household member or in a dating relationship is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, if another offense related to family violence occurs, the alleged perpetrator will be charged with a third-degree felony.
In domestic assault cases that result in serious bodily injury or where a deadly weapon has been used, the charge is upgraded to aggravated assault and second-degree felony in Texas.
Some other criminal actions that fall under domestic assault include:
Terroristic threats in the context of domestic assault means the alleged perpetrator made a threat to cause another person to fear imminent bodily injury and is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor conviction can result in the offender spending up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Stalking is any action the alleged perpetrator carries out that makes the accuser feel threatened. Often, stalking charges result after the accused has threatened the accuser’s life, safety, or property. Stalking is a third-degree felony in Texas. However, if there is a prior conviction, the charges are upgraded to a second-degree felony.
Although these are only some of the charges associated with domestic assault, it pays to have a knowledgeable defense lawyer on your side. Often, a spouse or partner will accuse the other of abuse even though they are innocent of the charges.
Contact our law offices and ask to speak with our highly skilled domestic violence defense lawyer to learn
What Are Some Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges?
Even though any domestic violence charge is considered a serious offense in Texas, there are several possible legal defense strategies that an experienced attorney may be able to use. These legal defense strategies include:
Lack of Evidence
In family abuse cases, the prosecution has the burden of proof to demonstrate that the accuser was truthful in their account to law enforcement. However, because of the close nature of family relationships, situations often become heated, but no actions occur that are consistent with a crime occurring.
In many cases, with the help of a highly trained attorney, the defendant can successfully dispute the accuser’s version of events, after which the charges may be dropped or dismissed.
Sadly, in many cases, the accuser will make false allegations to hurt or punish the defendant. In other instances, the alleged victim may try to gain leverage in a child custody dispute. For this reason, anyone who has been charged with domestic abuse must hire a well-qualified lawyer who will thoroughly review the law enforcement reports, witness statements, and any other pertinent information to discern any inconsistencies that may be present.
Furthermore, if the case makes it to trial, a defense lawyer can question the accuser under oath to determine whether or not they are being truthful.
Domestic abuse often involves both parties committing acts of violence against one another. As a result, it may be challenging for law enforcement to determine who was the aggressor and who acted in self-defense. Texas law stipulates that individuals have the right to defend themselves through reasonable use of force to prevent injuries or death.
However, anyone who wishes to use a self-defense strategy must demonstrate through clear and convincing evidence that they were in imminent danger and the use of force was necessary
Defense of Property
Texas law has several provisions that allow property owners to defend themselves and their property against threats or acts of aggression. A property owner can use a reasonable amount of force against another in defense of property they lawfully own.
Can a Person Accused of Domestic Violence Be Granted Probation in Houston?
Texas laws provide alternatives to jail or prison for first-time offenders charged with domestic violence. These legal alternatives include defendants being placed on probation or receiving deferred adjudication.
After a first-time offender has pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge. The judge may elect to grant the defendant probation. However, depending on the circumstances, the court may also sentence the offender to some jail time. If the charge is a misdemeanor, the defendant may receive 30 days in jail or 180 days for a felony. After the defendant serves their time in jail, they may then be ordered to serve probation.
However, anyone placed on probation must remain compliant with the terms and conditions of the probation. If the offender is found to be non-compliant, the individual would be ordered to serve the remainder of their sentence in jail or prison.
Some of the conditions associated with probation include:
- Paying all probation and supervision costs.
- Meeting regularly with the probation officer.
- Complying with all curfew rules.
- Complying with a protective order
- Refraining from using illegal drugs
- Refraining from using alcohol if ordered by the court.
- Taking and passing all mandatory drug tests.
- Not participating in criminal activities and avoiding arrest.
- Undergoing court-ordered counseling
- Maintaining gainful employment.
Deferred adjudication is also sometimes referred to as delayed entry of judgment (DEJ) and is another legal alternative that helps first-time domestic violence offenders avoid jail or prison time.
If the judge orders deferred adjudication, the offender must successfully complete all court-ordered requirements. If, for some reason, the offender fails to complete all of the requirements, they will be sentenced according to Texas state legal statutes, which typically require time in jail or prison.
Some of the most commonly ordered deferred adjudication requirements include:
- Undergoing court-ordered counseling or treatment.
- Performing community service.
- Avoiding arrests.
- Paying the victim(s) restitution for medical costs, counseling, and property damage.
If you are unsure whether your criminal case qualifies for probation or deferred adjudication, you must speak with a skilled lawyer who can answer your legal questions. Contact the Cory Roth Law Office to schedule an appointment to learn how we may be able to help.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring A Domestic Violence Lawyer to Represent My Legal Needs?
Many defendants who have been charged with domestic violence make the mistake of not hiring a lawyer to help them with their legal needs. However, anyone who is facing allegations of domestic abuse must hire an attorney immediately who can advise them of their legal rights.
One of the most considerable advantages of hiring a skilled domestic violence lawyer early on is that they can start at the beginning of your interactions with the Texas criminal court. If you wait until the case has progressed, your lawyer has to play catch up to try and familiarize themselves with the facts and circumstances involved, such as reviewing the police report or witness statements.
The Cory Roth Law Office of Houston, TX, is dedicated to helping individuals clear their name and protect their reputations. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, contact our law office at 832-400-4133 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.