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What Legal Options Do I Have If I’m Accused of Domestic Violence?

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How Does Texas Handle Domestic Violence Cases?

Domestic violence doesn’t just happen among married couples. Texas witnesses the vice in parent-child relationships, roommate dynamics, and among extended family members. Criminal defense lawyers in New Braunfels say that the law classifies the crime into three classes:

  • Domestic assault: You will face domestic assault charges if you physically harm, threaten, or provocatively contact a current or former partner, spouse, family member, relative, or anyone connected to you through a foster relationship or marriage.
  • Aggravated assault: This category involves severe bodily harm or the use of deadly weapons during the offense.
  • Continuous violence against the family: The charge applies if you commit two domestic assaults within 12 months, regardless of the victim’s identity, arrest, and case outcome.

The penalties for domestic are stiff but vary based on the extent and frequency of the offense. A first-time offense is a Class A misdemeanor, while repeat offenses are third-degree felonies. If a weapon is involved, the crime is a first-degree felony, while aggravated assault against a family member is a second-degree felony.

What is the Impact of a Domestic Violence Conviction?

You risk harsh penalties such as hefty fines and imprisonment if convicted of domestic violence. Even a misdemeanor domestic violence charge has the potential of imprisonment for up to one year and fines of up to $4,000. In addition to the legal consequences, you also risk collateral consequences such as:

  • Loss of your children’s custody and challenges with visitation
  • Loss of your rights to own a firearm
  • Potential job loss and difficulties in finding future employment
  • Difficulty finding housing opportunities due to background checks

Given the high stakes, it would be in your best interests to engage the services of experienced New Braunfels domestic violence attorneys when defending yourself against the charges. They understand how the system works and can help you evaluate the most effective defense strategy for the most favorable outcome.

What Are My Legal Options When Facing Domestic Violence Charges?

Facing domestic violence charges can be traumatizing, and knowing how to defend yourself and protect your rights is crucial. Domestic violence lawyers in New Braunfels recommend doing the following:

Consult a Legal Expert Immediately

Navigating the criminal law landscape by yourself can be a challenge, given the complex domestic violence laws. Your actions after the arrest can lead to the charges being dropped or escalating further for violating the newly imposed protective order or bond conditions.

Experienced criminal defense lawyers in New Braunfels can advise you accordingly to prevent you from making mistakes that could harm your case. They can also evaluate the case specifics, conduct thorough investigations, and look for loopholes that could weaken the prosecutor’s claims to have the charges dropped or penalties reduced.

Stay Silent

Facing domestic or family violence charges can be upsetting, and you might feel angry that your reputation has been or might be tarnished. You might think that the best thing to do is to try to prove your innocence within your social circles, but this might do more harm than good.

Domestic violence attorneys point out that anything you say to the police or alleged victim could be used against you in court. Avoid posting anything about the case online, as posting your side of the story can be used as evidence of your guilt. Besides, an innocent social media post could be misconstrued to complicate the charges further. Be patient and wait to defend yourself in court.

Adhere to the Legal Process

Immediately after the charges are filed, ensure you meet the legal requirements. Attend all court hearings, adhere to court orders, and complete any counseling sessions ordered by the court. It would also help to avoid all contact with the alleged victim, even if you believe you have a good relationship with them.

Contacting them can be deemed a violation of the protective order, which can further aggravate your situation and reduce the chance of having the case dismissed. Besides, violating a valid protective order can result in your re-arrest.

Gather Evidence

When defending yourself against domestic violence charges, it helps to present evidence that supports your arguments. Your domestic violence attorneys in New Braunfels can help you collect evidence that supports your innocence, no matter how minor.

Witness statements, police reports, medical records, and any other piece of evidence that shed light on the circumstances of the alleged domestic violence crime should be gathered. Additionally, you can collect evidence that shows the alleged victim’s untruthfulness or aggression and share it with your legal team.

Create a Strong Defense Strategy

One benefit of working with experienced New Braunfels domestic violence lawyers is that they know the best defense strategies in domestic violence charges. For example, they can focus on scrutinizing the arrest protocol and look for procedural errors or violations of your constitutional rights that could have the case dismissed. They could cite the following:

  • Use of unnecessary excessive force during the arrest
  • Lack of probable cause for the arrest
  • Failure to read your Miranda rights
  • Imbalanced investigation

If your lawyers determine that such errors or violations occurred, they can file a motion to

A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Helping You Understand Your Legal Options in a Domestic Violence Case

The criminal justice system in Texas is complicated, and the last thing you should do is be casual about criminal charges. Skilled New Braunfels domestic violence attorneys can help you clear your name to fight for your future by applying the right defense strategy.

Seymour & Vaughn is a criminal defense law firm with dedicated domestic violence lawyers. We understand how emotionally and legally complex criminal charges can be, and we can use our expertise to shield you from the life-changing consequences. Don’t face the charges alone. Call us at 830-282-8751 to schedule a FREE case assessment.

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