Criminal cases involving incidents of domestic violence are taken seriously by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the State of Texas. In fact, each of the bodies mentioned have entire divisions dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of these crimes like no other.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, or you have received threats that you may be charged with domestic violence, you’ll need to retain legal counsel immediately.
Understanding Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence cases are some of the most difficult cases to handle for all parties involved. Due to the nature of domestic violence cases, this area of criminal law is prone to false allegations and the law doesn’t offer much of a challenge to this abuse either.
Furthermore, when police do make an arrest for domestic violence, its usually based on no evidence and even less investigation work. With this area of law being laden with mistakes by law enforcement, its important to have a competent criminal defense lawyer in your corner to challenge such accusations.
What is Family/Domestic Violence?
For assault to be classified as a family violence case, the incident doesn’t have to occur between immediate family members, and there isn’t necessarily a standard for physical violence.
DEFINITION OF FAMILY/DOMESTIC
First, lets tackle the family component of a domestic violence case so you can understand how broadly the term “family” is defined. The “family” in “family violence” can include a former spouse, a current spouse, people who are dating, siblings, parents of a child (who are in or out of any relationship), grandparents & grandchildren, and children.
DEFINITION OF VIOLENCE
Violence, under Texas Domestic/Family Violence legal standards, shouldn’t be taken to mean physical assault, but also includes physical assault as one of many definitions for family violence.
Violence under Texas law, with relation to domestic violence incidents, can be described as physical assault, verbal assault, violent tones & language, threats of violence, stalking, physical stalking, cyber-stalking, rape, sexual assault, spousal rape, and any act that the Harris County District Attorney can meld into one of those categories.
SPECIAL NOTE: Victims of domestic violence, or any other assaultive offense, have no power, and very little “if any” influence, in the determination of whether or not criminal charges for family violence are dropped in the State of Texas. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you have no choice but to face prosecution.
You’ll need legal representation. The Capitaine Law Firm can help.
Penalties if Convicted of Domestic Assault
Penalties for persons convicted of domestic assault fall in line with legal standards for simple assault, which is generally a Class A Misdemeanor, and felony assault, which can range in severity depending on the detail of the situation, and have prison terms ranging from 2 years to life.
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR
Class A Misdemeanor cases carry a potential county jail sentence of up to 1 year in addition to fines of up to 4,000.00.
2ND DEGREE FELONY
A person charged with Domestic Violence may face prosecution for a felony in the 2nd degree. 2nd Degree felony convictions carry a maximum fine of 10,000.00 with a potential jail term that can range from 2 to 20 years in prison.
1ST DEGREE FELONY
Domestic Violence charges can also be enhanced to a 1st Degree Felony which carries penalties that range from 5 years to life imprisonment.
Other problems a person convicted of domestic violence may encounter include the normal problems that plague persons who have a criminal background, and other issues like gaining employment around children and/or accessing your own children.
There is also the added element of restraining/protective orders which carry their own particular hindrances.
Contact The Capitaine Law Firm
If you’re either guilty, or innocent, the circumstance is great enough to warrant a great response. There is no better response to accusations of a criminal charge like domestic violence than hiring a criminal law attorney who is experienced in picking apart these cases.
In most of my experience, I’ve found these cases to be based on spite more than they are based on evidence. Rarely, are persons charged with crimes of this nature guilty of anything. However, there are some cases in which tempers fly off the handle and a domestic assault can result. Normally, an apology, an admission of guilt, and an agreement for a probationary term can resolve the matter, in other cases, we’ll need to challenge prosecution.
In any case, you’ll need a seasoned criminal defense lawyer like Christian Capitaine who understands how to tackle these types of cases. Our law office can be reached by phone, at 832-618-7831.