Dallas Domestic Violence Lawyers
Helping Clients in Dallas County Understand Domestic Violence Laws in Texas
In Texas, an assaultive offense is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing or threatening to cause bodily injury to another person. Such action is referred to as family violence when committed against someone who is a family or household member or has some domestic relationship with the alleged offender. Depending on the circumstances, the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, resulting in fines and/or incarceration.
At Scott H. Palmer, P.C., our skilled Dallas domestic violence lawyers understand what is at stake with an assault conviction in Texas. We provide our clients with honest assessments of their cases and explain their options so they can make informed decisions about how to move forward.
Backed by over 140 years of combined experience, we are more than prepared to assist with your case. When you hire us, you'll get a team of lawyers working together to develop a solid defense strategy on your behalf. Additionally, we will leverage the experience of Attorney Scott H. Palmer, who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Are you facing a domestic violence charge in Texas? Call Scott H. Palmer, P.C. today at (214) 891-3382 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our domestic violence attorneys in Dallas!
What are Texas's Domestic Violence Definitions?
In Texas, domestic violence is defined as any abusive behavior between family or household members. This includes physical, emotional, economic, and even sexual abuse. The law states that it doesn't matter who initiated the violence. If one family member has been using coercive tactics to gain power over another, it can be considered domestic violence.
It's important to note that the law does not differentiate between men and women regarding the definition of domestic violence. Both men and women can be victims and perpetrators of this abuse. Furthermore, you don't have to be married or live together for an episode of abuse to be considered domestic violence.
It's also important to understand that the definition of domestic violence is broad and can include more than just physical abuse. For example, intimidation, threats, yelling, and shaming are all forms of emotional abuse. Additionally, preventing another person from having access to money or other resources is a form of economic abuse.
Understanding the definitions of domestic violence can help individuals know when their behavior is crossing the line, and it's essential to reach out for help if you or someone you know is experiencing this type of abuse.
Under Texas law, the following are considered family or household members:
- Two people related by blood or marriage
- Two people who are spouses or former spouses
- Two people who share a child together
- Foster children and foster parents
- People who are currently or were formerly in a dating relationship
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Texas?
Domestic violence is a serious crime in Texas, and offenders may face harsh penalties. Depending on the severity of the offense, penalties can range from:
- Class C misdemeanor: This is charged when the offense involves provocative or offensive physical contact. The punishments include a fine of up to $500.
- Class A misdemeanor: A person faces this level of charge when they cause bodily injury to a family or household member. A conviction can result in as much as 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
- Third-degree felony: Assault family violence or impeding breath/circulation cases are third-degree felonies when the accused has a previous conviction for this offense, and they cause bodily injury to a household or family member. The conviction penalties include between 2 and 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
At our firm, the most common assault charges we handle involve domestic violence. What most of our clients do not understand before they enter our office is that the Texas state legislature has created family violence enhancement when it comes to crimes involving family abuse such as child abuse or sexual abuse of a family member.
The enhancement means that assault convictions involving family violence carry harsher penalties than other types of assault.
A conviction will lead to:
- Longer jail sentences
- Higher fines
- An inability to possess or own a firearm
You need an aggressive, experienced Dallas domestic violence attorney who can protect your rights and defend against assault allegations.
Defense Options For Domestic Violence Charges
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, the court process can be intimidating, and the potential consequences of a conviction are severe. But defense options are available to those facing charges to reduce or dismiss the case against them.
The most common defense used in domestic violence cases is self-defense, which argues that the accused used force to protect themselves or another person from immediate harm. To successfully argue self-defense, you must prove that any force used was a reasonable response proportional to the threat posed.
Another potential defense is duress, which states that the abuser acted under an imminent threat of serious injury or death. If the court believes that the accused had no other reasonable options, they might reduce or dismiss the charges.
Misunderstanding or miscommunication is another possible defense for domestic violence cases. It can be argued that the accuser’s allegations do not accurately reflect what happened and are based on a misinterpretation of events.
Ultimately, the defense you pursue will depend on the details of your case. Your attorney can help advise you on which option is best and how to proceed with your defense. It is important to remember that the court process might be complicated, but there are ways to defend yourself against a domestic violence charge. With the right support, you can have the charges reduced or dismissed.
Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges in Texas?
In the state of Texas, the victim is not able to drop domestic violence charges. The prosecutor's office governs charges brought forward through a protective order or police report and cannot be settled without their approval. Victims can inform prosecutors that they do not wish to pursue criminal action; however, in most cases, prosecutors will choose to proceed with the charges despite the victim's wishes. This is done to ensure justice is served and that all victims of domestic violence, regardless of their wishes, are provided a safe environment from further harm or intimidation.
Contact Our Dallas Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
If you've been arrested for domestic violence or any other assault charge, reach out to us for legal representation in Dallas. Our Dallas domestic violence lawyers offer phone consultations to new clients. Once a client and you're unable to come to our offices, we will travel to meet you.
Contact Scott H. Palmer, P.C., today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our domestic violence lawyers in Dallas!
Not Guilty Murder
Not Guilty Sexual Assault of a Child
Case Dismissed Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child
Not Guilty Murder
Not Guilty Murder
No Billed by Grand Jury Sexual Assault
No Billed by Grand Jury Endangering a Child
No Billed by Grand Jury Burglary of a Habitation
Deferred Probation Racing Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death
Not Guilty DWI by Drugs
Case Dismissed Indecency with a Child
No Billed by Grand Jury Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon
Case Dismissed Assault Public Servant
Case Dismissed First Degree Drug Possession
No Billed by Grand Jury Assault Impeding Breath
Not Guilty DWI