Fighting Texas Domestic Violence Charges
There are many reasons why someone might make false accusations of domestic violence against his or her significant other. In divorce proceedings, allegations of violence within the marriage may result in a different child custody outcome. In a dating or other intimate relationship, accusations of domestic violence may be part of a misunderstanding as the relationship ends.
Whatever the reason for accusing another of domestic violence in Texas, whether the allegations are truthful or not, the penalties related to a domestic violence conviction are harsh and can be long-lasting. If you’ve been accused of abusing an intimate partner or member of your household, you should not go to court alone. An experienced El Paso domestic violence attorney can examine all the evidence and help you fight the charges your face.
Domestic & family violence law in texas
Domestic assault in Texas is not limited to spousal abuse between a husband and wife. An attack on a family member, a member of your household even if you are not related or on someone with whom you have a child may also be considered domestic or family violence in Texas. Any act that is intended to cause harm, or a threat that would reasonably put someone in fear of imminent physical harm or assault, can be considered domestic violence if your relationship with that person fits within the domestic violence statue.
When police officers are called to the scene of alleged abuse, they must arrest you if there is probable cause to believe abuse occurred and resulted in bodily injury to the victim. The definition of bodily injury is broad and does not require any physical manifestation like a bruise or red mark.
Even if the accuser withdraws claims related to domestic violence charges, the state may still prosecute. The state has many powers during this time, including the ability of a judge to evict alleged abusers from their homes.
A texas protective order
When someone has been a victim of domestic violence, he or she can pursue a protective order against the perpetrator. According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, there is no cost to seek a protective order and the order may be granted ex parte if the court believes there is an immediate danger of continued violence.
An ex parte hearing on a protective order can be held without your knowledge and without you having an opportunity to defend yourself against the accusations of domestic violence. A judge can then issue a temporary protective order, valid for 20 days, limiting where you can go and the contact you can have with your family members during that time, all without your knowledge.
If you’ve been accused of family or domestic violence, you should contact an El Paso criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your rights can be affected and your day-to-day life altered even before you have a chance to defend yourself.
Challenging false allegations of domestic violence in texas
An allegation of domestic violence is just like any other criminal charge: the state must prove its case against you by putting for evidence of the alleged violent acts. You do have the right to defend yourself against the state’s charges.
Domestic violence charges are a serious matter. Recent changes in Texas law allow prosecutors to pursue a felony conviction for repeat allegations of domestic violence rather than treating the crimes as separate misdemeanors. The enhancement to a felony-level offense may occur even if you were not convicted of a domestic violence offense before.
Your Texas domestic assault defense attorney can further explain the charges against you and the penalties you may face upon conviction.