In our last post, we began speaking about the importance of working with an experienced criminal defense attorney when one is faced with accusations of domestic violence. As we noted, the consequences of such allegations can be significant, particularly with respect to custody proceedings, and can have a negative impact even if charges end up being dropped.
The reality is that it doesn’t take much to get a protective order and set this process in motion. Here in Texas, as in other states, a protective order may be obtained not only when actually harm has been inflicted, but also when there is an act intended to physician harm another member of a household or when there is a serious threat of physical harm. Judges have discretion to determine whether a filing meets the required threshold.
If every case of alleged domestic violence involved a serious threat from the accused, the system would be serving its intended purpose. The fact is, though, that it is not difficult for an accusing party to get a court involved in a dispute in order to create legal, financial, or other difficulties for a partner.
Domestic violence cases aren’t always clear cut in terms of who is at fault and what the contributions of each party have been. All those who are accused of domestic violence should work with an experienced attorney to defend their rights, but particularly those who have been unfairly targeted or wrongly accused in order to achieve some other goal. An experienced advocate can help sort things out and make sure a defendant in such a case has a fighting chance.