Tarrant County Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence—also known as family violence in the state of Texas—charges carry harsh penalties and can uproot the lives of families involved. Texas Family Code §71.003 states that the term “family” includes all the following:
- Individuals related by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (marriage)
- Individuals who are former spouses of each other
- Individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage
- A foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together
County Criminal Court No. 5 was established in Tarrant County to rule on family violence/domestic violence cases every month. Family violence charges are taken especially seriously in Tarrant County; the District Attorney’s office advances with all cases, even if the alleged victim of domestic violence moves to drop charges.
Because of that, it is often key for individuals accused of domestic violence to work with a Tarrant County Domestic Violence Lawyer to build a strong defense and advocate for their rights. En Español.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
According to Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, family violence is “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.” Threats that produce reasonable fear of suffering harm in family members can also qualify as domestic abuse. However, actions taken in self-defense typically do not qualify.
A person charged with domestic violence could face either felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the circumstances, with penalties ranging from one year in jail with fines up to $4,000 to 99 years in prison with fines up to $10,000. When it comes to penalties, domestic violence charges are treated the same as assault charges in Tarrant County.
The factors that determine the severity of the charges include but are not limited to:
- The extent of injury caused
- Any prior convictions by the accused assailant
- The age of the alleged victim(s)
- The alleged victim’s relationship with the assailant
- Any potential use of a deadly weapon, and if applicable, what type of weapon it was
If the accused is found guilty of domestic violence, they are at risk of losing their right to carry a firearm—even if they work in law enforcement, security, or the military—and losing custody of their children. Furthermore, records of the domestic violence charge cannot be expunged or sealed and may impact a convicted assailant’s ability to gain employment.
Possible Defense Options
To prove a defendant guilty of domestic violence, the prosecution must be able to prove that the alleged act of violence was intentional, done knowingly, and done recklessly. A Tarrant County domestic violence attorney could help build a defense against all three of these requirements to ensure fair representation during the case.
If an alleged act of violence was intentional, the accused could still argue that they acted in self-defense. To support this claim, though, a defendant would need to prove that their response was proportional to the initial act.
Contact a Tarrant County Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
If you are facing charges of domestic or family violence in Tarrant County, consider reaching out to a Tarrant County domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible to secure legal representation and protect your rights in a court of law. A seasoned attorney could determine which defense is right for your case, and may be able to help you avoid the tough penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction.