Temple Domestic Violence Attorney
There is no question that domestic violence is a serious problem in Texas as well as around the country. But it is also true that false accusations of familial violence are made all the time.
Being accused of domestic violence is a terrifying experience. Not only do defendants face serious penalties, but their careers and reputations could be in jeopardy. We encourage anyone arrested or accused of this crime to immediately contact The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today.
How Texas Defines Family Violence
The relevant statute can be found at Section 71.004 of the Texas Penal Code. Like most criminal statutes, it is long and cumbersome to read, but we can summarize the law in the following manner:
- Family violence is any act committed by a member of a family or household with the intent to cause bodily injury or harm to another member of the family/household. The harm includes sexual assault.
- Family violence includes any threat that creates fear of imminent physical harm or assault, including sexual assault, in a member of a family or household.
- Family violence also includes abuse, which consists of any act or omission that causes mental or emotional injury to a child.
- Family violence can also be committed against anyone you are dating.
As you can see, family violence includes not only violent acts but also threats. Common examples include punching, slapping, hitting, stalking, terrorizing, and sexually assaulting someone who is related to you or lives in your house (or who you are dating). When children are injured, an even wider range of conduct might run afoul of the law, including a failure to act to protect a child.
Why Defendants Must Mount a Vigorous Defense
If convicted, a defendant can face time in jail and large fines, which increase if this is a second or subsequent offense. Generally, a first-time offender is looking at a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can result in a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. However, if this is a second conviction, the defendant could see up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
There is also harm to a person’s reputation. If you are a professional or other high-profile individual, then even the accusation of domestic violence can ruin your good name. Instead of passively waiting for the criminal process to play out—or waiting for a generous plea deal from a prosecutor—you should contact an attorney right away.
Defending against These Charges
Domestic violence situations are rarely black and white. Sometimes ugly words slowly escalate to pushing and tugging before someone hits someone else. It isn’t always clear who “started it.” And sometimes you need to push or punch back to protect yourself. An important point is that the law does not criminalize self-defense.
In other situations, an alleged victim might outright lie and fabricate an attack. Domestic violence accusations often crop up as part of a divorce where one side hopes to gain an advantage by lying and getting a protective order.
A seasoned Temple criminal defense attorney should carefully review all the facts known and possibly conduct an independent investigation to identify other witnesses to the events.
Call Our Temple Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Katie L. Gomez is a passionate Temple domestic violence attorney who regularly represents men and women accused of domestic violence. Call her today to schedule a time to meet.