Family Violence


Family ViolenceWhat is Family Violence?Types of Family Violence CasesCan he or she drop the charges?What can I do to get my case dismissed?

Nine times out of ten, when police respond to a call involving family violence, someone is going to jail. There need be no visible injuries or corroboration. If one person says they were hit or some physical contact caused pain, the person they point the finger at is getting arrested.

True victims of family violence need immediate attention and assistance. However, police often act precipitously by making an arrest without fully investigating the situation. They even make arrests when the person they have identified as the “victim” is telling them that they do not want anyone to be arrested.

A finding of family violence on your record (“AFFV”) can never be cleared, and the consequences will follow you for the rest of your life. A finding of family violence can affect your employment, ability to own or possess a gun and child custody.

I will help you understand the process and develop a strategy at the onset to either get your case dismissed or obtain a verdict of not guilty.

Family Violence cases have been called by many names including domestic violence and domestic violence assault. While the charges themselves fall into several categories, the relevant inquiry is whether you and the “victim” fall under the definition of “family” which is as follows:

AFamily@ includes individuals related by blood, marriage, former marriage,
members of the same household, and those who are or were dating and have a continuing relationship of an intimate or romantic nature.

• Assault by Offensive Contact
Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine

• Assault with Bodily Injury
Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4000

• Assault Enhanced (at least one previous case with AFFV)
Third Degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

• Assault Impeding
Third Degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

• Aggravated Assault
Second Degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

• Sexual Assault
Second Degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

• Stalking
Third Degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

• Violation of Protective Order
Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4000.

*This list is not exhaustive, and each of these offenses can be enhanced if there is a previous finding of family violence or other conditions are met.

No. When you get arrested, the State of Texas decides how to proceed with the case. The complainant/victim can go to the State and file an affidavit of non-prosecution but the State is neither obligated nor likely to dismiss. In fact, in most cases, the State expects the complainant/victim to want to drop the charges and it has no effect on how they proceed.

I will meet you and discuss the legal strategies for an expeditious dismissal or a verdict of not guilty. It is important to start early by gathering evidence such as pictures and statements because both memories and signs of injuries fade.

Contact Nancy
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