Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney
Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney: How To Protect Yourself From False Accusations
If you’re living in Texas and are in need of a Dallas domestic violence attorney, then this article is for you. Did your spouse or partner wrongfully accuse you of committing domestic violence? If yes, you need to understand the kind of legal hurdles that you must face.
Dallas Domestic Violence
The state recognizes marriage or a domestic relationship as a legal union or social partnership between people. Couples who belong in a domestic relationship would ideally love, understand and respect each other. However, this is not always the case. Most relationships are often fraught with problems that can lead to a couple’s estrangement.
Domestic violence is one of the most common problems that marriages and relationships face. It is a pattern of behavior in which one partner in a relationship uses physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse to control the other partner.
How Texas Defines Domestic Violence
The state of Texas defines domestic violence as an act of family violence. By definition, family violence is an act by family members or households against each other. The term family includes people related by blood or marriage. It also includes people dating currently or in the past and those who have a child together. The term household refers to people who live together, regardless of their relationship.
There are different domestic and family violence crimes, each with corresponding penalties. A Dallas domestic violence attorney can help correctly identify these and work on your defense.
Physical abuse is when one partner in a relationship physically harms the other. It includes hitting, punching, kicking, choking, and using a weapon to hurt the other person. The penalties for physical abuse depend on the severity of the injuries inflicted.
For example, the offender can be fined up to $4,000 and imprisoned if the victim suffers minor injuries. In another instance, the offender could pay a fine of up to $10,000 and could go to jail if the victim suffers moderate injuries. In another offense, a fine could go up to $20,000, and the offender could go to prison for 20 years if the victim suffers serious bodily injuries. Lastly, if the victim dies due to physical abuse, the offender can be fined up to $50,000 and imprisoned for 99 years.
Sexual abuse is when one partner in a relationship forces the other to engage in sexual activity against their will. It can include rape, forced prostitution, unwanted sexual touching, and child molestation. The penalties for sexual abuse depend on the victim’s age and the severity of the abuse.
An offender could pay a fine of up to $10,000 and go to prison for ten years if the victim is under the age of 17 and the offender is no more than four years older than the victim. When offenders are more than four years older than a victim under the age of 17, they could pay a fine of up to $25,000 and go to prison for up to twenty years. Additionally, an offender could pay a fine of up to $50,000 and go to prison for 99 years if the victim is beyond 17 years old.
Emotional abuse is when one partner tries to control the other through emotional manipulation. It includes name-calling, put-downs, constant criticism, withholding compliments or love, isolating the victim from family and friends, and making unreasonable demands. The penalties for emotional abuse are less severe than those for physical or sexual abuse. The offender could pay a fine of up to $2,000 and undergo imprisonment for one year.
Economic abuse is when one partner in a relationship tries to control the other through financial means. It includes withholding money, preventing the victim from getting or keeping a job, controlling how the victim spends money, and taking the victim’s money without consent. The penalties for economic abuse are less severe than those for physical or sexual abuse. The offender could pay a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for one year.
What Victims of Domestic Violence Can Do
Victims of domestic violence can seek help from a domestic violence shelter or hotline. Shelters provide victims with a safe place to stay, counseling, and other services. Hotlines can provide victims with information about shelters, legal options, and other resources. Victims should also consider filing for a protective order. A protective order from a court of law prohibits the offender from coming near the victim or contacting the victim.
Protective orders can also require the offender to move out of the house, give up their weapons, and pay child support. You will need to work with an experienced Dallas domestic violence attorney to get a protective court order if you are a victim of domestic violence in Dallas.
What To Do When Falsely Accused Of Domestic Violence?
Failed relationships can bring out the worst in domestic partners, especially if a divorce or child custody battle is involved. One tactic occasionally used in these situations is falsely accusing the other parent of domestic violence. This tactic should provide an advantage in divorce or child custody cases. Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic violence are all too common.
Take accusations of domestic violence seriously, even if these are false. Domestic violence is a serious crime with severe penalties. Those convicted of domestic violence get jail time, a fine, and a restraining order. Also, you may lose your right to own a firearm and have difficulty finding a job.
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in the event of a domestic violence accusation. Dallas domestic violence attorneys will help you protect your rights while navigating the criminal justice system. Other than that, they can also help you get the charges against you dropped or reduced.
Possible Defenses Of A Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney
Do not try to handle the situation on your own when faced with a domestic violence accusation. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to build your defense. Here are some possible court defenses your Dallas domestic violence attorney can employ for you.
One common defense against domestic violence charges is that the allegations are false. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse to make false domestic violence accusations against the other. That is especially true during a divorce or child custody battle. For example, a wife may falsely accuse her husband of domestic violence to gain an advantage in the divorce proceedings.
Another possible counter to domestic violence accusation is self-defense. It is possible to get the charges against you dropped if you can prove that you resorted to violence in self-defense. For example, you could claim self-defense if your spouse was attacking you and you had to resort to physical force to defend yourself.
Lack Of Evidence
The prosecutor must have enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of domestic violence. If the evidence against you is not enough, your Dallas domestic violence attorney could get the charges dropped. For example, if the only evidence against you is the word of your accuser, then your attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed for lack of evidence.
In some cases, you may be able to argue that the victim consented to the alleged abuse. It is not a common defense, but it may be applicable in some cases. For example, if the victim and offender were engaged in a consensual fight, then the offender may not be guilty of domestic violence. Another example is when the couple consented to have violent sexual activities that resulted in injuries.
The police may have made mistakes when investigating the domestic violence allegations in some cases. If the police did not follow proper procedure, then your Dallas domestic violence attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped or dismissed. For example, your criminal defense attorney may be able to get any statements you made to the police thrown out if the police failed to declare your Miranda rights.
Other Possible Defense
- Arrest Errors. The police may also make mistakes when arresting domestic violence suspects. If the police did not have probable cause to arrest you, then your Dallas domestic violence attorney can get the charges against you dropped or dismissed.
- Intoxication. You may claim that you were too intoxicated to form the requisite intent to commit domestic violence. Though this is not a common defense, it may be applicable in some cases.
- Temporary Insanity. Also, you could claim that you were temporarily insane at the time of the alleged offense. This is a tough defense to win, but in some situations, it may work.
This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other defenses available for your case. You should contact an experienced Dallas domestic violence attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. The Medlin Law Firm in Dallas, Texas, has experience handling domestic violence cases and can help you fight the charges against you.