Domestic Violence Lawyer in Houston
Defending Against Allegations of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence cases are taken very seriously in Texas. The definition of "domestic violence" is an act between family members or even dating partners that intentionally or knowingly causes injury or a threat of injury. A bad relationship can bring out the worst in both parties involved. Many times, these cases start out when one party calls the police during an argument. If police officers show up, then there is a very good chance that there will be an arrest for domestic violence or assault.
Actions such as pushing, shoving, hitting, stalking, or sexual abuse are all considered forms of domestic violence. In most cases, domestic violence involves violence between a husband and wife, but, as stated above, it can also involve violence between a couple who are not married or couples who are living together. It is a very serious matter to be charged with any type of domestic violence; jail or prison time, probation, and restraining orders are all possible consequences of a conviction. Mere accusations of these crimes can result in forcing you to move out of your home. Another residual effect of a conviction can include the prohibition of owning or carrying firearms.
Protective Orders in Houston, Texas
Family violence prevention laws are detailed in Chapter 5 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. One of the provisions of this section of the codes is protective orders. A protective order is not the same as a criminal charge. Rather, it is a civil court-issued order that can be requested by victims of family violence. It is fairly simple to be granted a protective order, which is unfortunate for those who are falsely accused of family violence. With a small fee and some basic information, alleged victims of family violence can file. According to the Attorney General of Texas's Office, applicants must provide:
- The names of all victims and where they live;
- The name of the alleged offender and where they live;
- The relationship between the offender and the victim; and
- The actual request for one or more protective orders.
Once someone obtains a protective order, a court hearing will be set no later than two weeks after the initial filing. The court will then decide if the applicant is in clear or present danger of family violence. Temporary orders, when granted, are valid up to 20 days while final protective orders can go into effect for up to one year. If a protective order is filed against you, it can prevent you from seeing your loved ones.
The protective order can dictate how close you can get to your loved ones' home, workplace or school. It can even remove you from your home. Violation of a civil protective order can result in criminal charges such as jail time up to one year and $4,000 in fines. In Texas, there is also something called a Magistrate's Order for Emergency Protection. These are sometimes issued after a defendant has been arrested for an act of family violence. They can be requested by a family member, peace officer, an attorney representing the state of Texas or the Magistrate.
Domestic & Family Violence Charges
Usually one partner is attempting to gain control over the other in a domestic violence case. The most common offenders statistically are men, however, women have also been charged in these cases. In the state of Texas, these cases are prosecuted very aggressively. Probation, court-ordered counseling, and jail or prison time are all very likely penalties for a conviction of domestic violence.
If you have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence, then you should immediately obtain legal counsel to defend you. Act now and speak to an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer about your case and your legal options. I have the experience and skills to defend you against charges of domestic violence and provide the best defense possible in your case. By bringing my perspective as a former prosecutor, I can build a case that will be tailored to combat their offense. I have handled numerous cases such as this and will do everything that I can to help you fight for your desirable result.
Contact us today if you have been accused of domestic violence.