Weatherford Domestic Violence Lawyer
Any incident involving violence towards another person is a serious matter. However, in the State of Texas, allegations involving violence against a household member are even more severe. A conviction here can result in not just the typical criminal penalties that follow an assault, but also the imposition of restrictive restraining orders that can affect every portion of a person’s life.
It is critical that any individual who is accused of committing a violent act against a family member be prepared to defend themselves in court. Hiring a Weatherford domestic violence lawyer may be a step in the right direction. The dedicated criminal defense attorneys on our team could work to defend you against both the underlying criminal accusations in the case and dispute any potential protective orders.
What Crimes May Count as Domestic Violence in Texas?
There is no crime known as domestic violence in the Texas Penal Code. Instead, the concept of domestic violence describes an otherwise criminal act that is committed against a household member. A household member is defined in Texas Family Code §71.006 as any person with whom the defendant has ever lived. As such, a household member typically includes:
- Live-in boyfriend or girlfriends
Any sort of violent or threatening act may be construed by the court as an incident of domestic violence. It is not the type of conduct that a person allegedly has committed that makes a case an incident of domestic violence, as much as, the target of the offense.
Domestic Violence Punishments
The severity of the punishment for a domestic violence crime is determined by the underlying charge. For example, Texas Penal Code §22.01 says that an assault is an intentional, knowing, or reckless action that causes bodily injury to another. The statute specifically includes a spouse as a potential victim under this statute.
Normally, an assault is a Class A misdemeanor. However, Texas Penal Code §22.01(b)(2) states that a second assault on a household member is a felony in the third degree. This means that a conviction would result in a minimum prison sentence of two years and the maximum penalty may be as many at ten years. A Weatherford domestic violence attorney could stand by a plaintiff’s side to help prevent this from happening.
Other Considerations in Domestic Violence Cases
It is bad enough that defendants charged with domestic violence face enhanced sentencing rules based upon the target of their alleged abuse. However, the law also allows courts to penalize defendants in other ways, often before the case goes to trial.
During an initial arraignment, the prosecutor or complainant can ask the court to put a protective order into place. This order would require the defendant to cease all contact with the person who was allegedly harmed. This may result in the defendant moving out of their home, losing property, and even surrendering visitation rights with children.
If the prosecutor secures a conviction for a domestic violence charge, that order may become permanent. It is essential to fight back against domestic violence charges at an early stage in every case, which is why retaining a domestic violence lawyer in Weatherford can be so critical.
Consult with a Weatherford Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Allegations of domestic violence in Weatherford are serious matters. Even otherwise minor allegations, such as those involving assault, become felony-level charges if the allegations involve violence towards a household member. This definition includes not just relatives, but any person with whom the defendant has ever lived.
A conviction under these laws may result in a lengthy prison sentence and may curtail other rights of citizens throughout the state. For this reason, it is essential to present a powerful defense from day one.
A Weatherford domestic violence lawyer may be able to provide this defense. They could work with you to identify goals, analyze the prosecutor’s case, and protect your rights at every stage. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.