Fort Worth Domestic Violence Charges
Bodily injury is defined as anything that causes pain or discomfort. So it doesn’t have to result in a bruise, a mark or even redness; it doesn’t have to result in a cut, a scrape or an abrasion. There may be no physical evidence or any visible sign of the injury; but if the person says that they were hit, slapped, pushed, shoved or pinched and it caused them pain, then that’s enough to meet the definition under Texas law as bodily injury.
If charged with domestic violence, it is essential to get in touch with a skilled Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer.
Common Mistakes Domestic Violence Cases
The first mistake people make is calling the police any time there is a disagreement or a domestic squabble or quarrel. Any time police get called in a situation like that, most police departments have a policy that they’re going to arrest somebody. If nothing else, it just ensures that if the police leave, there is not going to be any danger of the situation escalating where someone is injured later. People think that they are going to call the police just to help settle things down or to explain things but what they don’t realize is they’re actually putting the arrest process in place even though they may not have wanted that.
The other mistake that people make, after the police are called and someone gets arrested, is talking with the police and answering questions because anything they say will be used against them, and it can also be taken out of context even if they are innocent or claim self-defense. Statements that are made may combine with other evidence that the police have to make them look more guilty or make it more difficult in their case’s defense. So, the person should always exercise the right to remain silent and not answer any questions if that were to happen.
If a person gets arrested for assault on a family member and they previously had a case of assault on a family member where they were convicted and given jail time or were found guilty and given probation, the new one becomes a felony. Even if someone’s been arrested for assault on a family member and the case was dismissed or never filed, if they get arrested for assault on a family member in the future, the prior incident could be used against them in the new case. At this point, just the fact that they were accused of assault in the past, even though the case was dismissed or never filed, could be used against them to try to make the punishment more severe or to get the judge or jury to give them a lengthy jail sentence. So, the history of being accused of domestic violence, even though it was dismissed or never filed, can be used against the person in the future.
Steps to Take if Charged
If you get arrested, the most important thing is to exercise your right to remain silent and not answer any questions. The next thing to do would be to make bond as quickly as possible, either a cash bond or hiring a bondsman. Then you need to hire an experienced attorney, as soon as possible, who can then look into the allegations, investigate the case and see if there is a way to get the case dismissed or help represent the person through the criminal justice process and try to get a not guilty verdict.
Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence Charges
If you are found guilty, whether it involves a jail sentence or probation, you have a permanent record of being convicted of assault on a family member, so that is going to show up on any background check and affect your ability to get jobs and promotions, as well as expose you to being charged with a felony if you are accused of it again in the future. Even if you get a deferred adjudication and successfully complete the probation period, you can never get that record sealed or get an order of non-disclosure, so it’s always going to show up on any background check.
Again, it’s going to affect your ability to get jobs or promotions, as well as your good name. You will not have the good name or the good reputation that you enjoyed before being arrested and accused. It can also affect your personal life; you cannot coach youth sports or youth programs because those organizations always require background checks. So the consequences are pretty serious.