Texas domestic violence laws are designed to be tough. Police frequently arrest people who are in the middle of a minor dispute, and often the police are not interested in hearing your side of the story. In fact, the more you try to explain what happened, the more likely some officers will just arrest you “to be safe.”
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., our respected Dallas domestic violence defense attorneys have been protecting the rights of the accused since 1971. We know how complicated the circumstances can be surrounding these types of cases, and how innocent arguments can be perceived as something more. So if you’ve been arrested and charged with a domestic battery offense, please give us a call today to discuss your legal options.
As a general rule of thumb, domestic violence is any act of violence against a member of your family or household. But to be more precise, there are two characteristics that must be met: the relationship between abuser and victim and the act of violence itself.
The Relationship. To qualify as domestic violence, the crime must involve a victim and alleged abuser who fit into one of these categories:
The Act. Next, assuming the parties fall into one of the broad categories above, there must be a requisite type of act that would qualify as violence. The act must include:
If you are convicted of domestic violence, your potential penalties and jail time will depend on a host of factors, including the severity of the injuries caused, whether a weapon was involved, the age of the victim, and whether you have any prior record of violence.
In some cases, the state may only charge you with a misdemeanor. In other cases, it will be a felony. Here are some examples of the penalties you could face, depending on the level of the offense:
Misdemeanors. A misdemeanor can include fines up to $4,000, plus as much as a year in jail. This is a common charge for a domestic battery offense.
Felonies. Felonies carry much harsher sentences, plus they have a bigger impact on your permanent record. A third-degree felony will get you up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in court fines. However, a first-degree felony may result in life in prison plus the same heavy fines.
Other Consequences. Keep in mind, however, that penalties and jail time are just part of the equation, when it comes to domestic violence. Once convicted of any form of domestic violence offense, you could be permanently barred from owning or carrying a weapon, which means if you have a job that requires firearms (police, military, security, etc.), you could be facing involuntary loss of a career. Likewise, a domestic violence conviction can have a terrible impact on child custody, housing options, and just about every aspect of your life.
There are typically a number of possible defenses to a domestic violence charge. The best way to assess possible options is to make an appointment to discuss your specific case with a skilled Dallas domestic violence defense attorney who can help you narrow down your choices. However, as a general matter, here are several options that may be available:
By leveraging our knowledge and decades of experience in criminal law, our Criminal Defense Attorneys will craft a smart defense aimed at obtaining the best possible outcome in your domestic violence case. Even if you think the accuser is holding all the cards, just remember that an accusation is not a verdict, and a charge is not a conviction. Only a jury can convict you of a crime, and you always have the right to legal representation.
To speak with a domestic violence defense lawyer in Dallas, contact Kraft & Associates, P.C., today. Our attorneys understand exactly what it takes to fight your charges at every step of the process. We go in to every case with an eye toward trial, looking for ways to chip away at the government’s case against you.
Under certain circumstances, we may be able to get your case outright dismissed, or at least get the charges reduced. If not, our domestic violence attorneys stand ready to take your case to trial and aggressively advocate for your interests in court.