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What Do Domestic Violence Attorneys Do For You: Your Complete Guide

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

If you reside in Texas, you have a very good chance of being accused of domestic violence. In 2015 there were 194,872 cases of domestic violence reported to law enforcement in the state of Texas.

You can be charged with domestic violence strictly on the claims of the alleged victim. A conviction for domestic violence can result in one year in jail and a $4,000 fine to 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

We are going to explain what domestic charges are and what a good domestic violence attorney with a strong track record in criminal defense can do for you.

Arrested for Domestic Violence

If the police are called to the scene of an argument with you and a member of your household, there will likely be an arrest made for domestic assault. That is just the first step in a long legal battle.

The District Attorney will review the police report and likely charge you with domestic violence.

Domestic violence is defined as a crime committed against any member of your household. This can be a spouse, child, parent, intimate live-in partner, or any other person that shares living quarters with you.

Types of Domestic Violence

The Texas Penal Code contains three different types of Domestic Violence. You may be charged with domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, or continuous violence against the family.

Domestic Assault

Domestic assault means the accused has intentionally or recklessly done serious bodily harm to another person. Even if there is no physical harm, they can be charged with domestic assault if they threatened to harm the person.

This class A misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

If the person has prior domestic assault convictions, this will be charged as a 3rd-degree felony. As a third-degree felony, a conviction will result in 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Aggravated Domestic Assault

When a person is accused of intentionally or recklessly causing serious bodily injury, they will be charged with aggravated domestic assault. It can also be charged if the person did not cause injury but did brandish a deadly weapon in the course of an assault.

A deadly weapon is a term used for any object that may cause death or serious bodily injury to another person.

Aggravated domestic assault is a 2nd-degree felony, which carries a sentence of 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If a deadly weapon was used and it caused serious bodily injury, the matter is charged as a 1st-degree felony.

This can result in 5-99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Continuous Violence Against the Family

This is a charge used when a person commits two domestic assaults within a 12-month period. You could be charged and convicted of continuous violence against the family even if you were never arrested or convicted of the prior incidents.

The assaults can be against different people; they do not have to be the same victim. This crime is a 3rd-degree felony and carries a sentence of 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Why You Need a Domestic Violence Attorney

Many accused think they do not need an attorney because the victim regrets their actions and states they will tell the prosecutor they want to drop the charges.

The victim does not have the authority to do that. Even if the victim claims they lied to the police, the DA has the legal authority to proceed with charges against you.

Defense Against Protective Order

The alleged victim may petition the court for a protective order against you. Once this is issued, it may prohibit you from having any contact with the victim and your children. It may also prevent you from entering your home and property.

If the alleged victim files for a protective order, you have only 14 days to prepare a legal objection.

This is where an experienced domestic violence attorney can help. Your attorney will know what information and evidence are needed to build a defense against the issuance of this order.

Defense Against Civil Lawsuits

The alleged victim may hire an attorney to sue you in addition to the DA’s prosecution of you on criminal charges. They may file a lawsuit to recover medical expenses or other financial loss.

If married, your spouse may file for divorce and full custody of your children. If you are not married but have children, the other parent may file for full custody.

Your domestic violence attorney will assist you with these additional lawsuits in addition to the criminal charges you are fighting. It is not unusual for people involved in a divorce to be accused of domestic violence.

Defense Against Domestic Violence

Your domestic violence lawyer will know what information and evidence are needed to build the best defense possible. They will request discovery from the prosecution. This will include copies of 911 calls and any dash-cam or body-cam evidence.

Your attorney will review whether your constitutional rights were violated when the evidence was gathered. If it is determined the evidence was obtained in a manner that violates the law, they will seek to have it excluded.

If it is determined the accusation may have been retaliatory in nature, they will seek out evidence to impeach the credibility of the alleged victim.

Your attorney will work hard to build the best case possible in your defense. Criminal cases require several appearances in court.

Your attorney will appear with you in court and speak on your behalf at each hearing. They know criminal law and are comfortable in a courtroom setting.

In addition to the prison time and fines previously noted, a domestic violence charge can result in you losing the ability to own firearms. You may lose contact with your children, inability to obtain student financial aid, loss of employment opportunities, or loss of a professional license.

Hire An Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney

If you have been accused of domestic violence, your first call should be to a domestic violence attorney. They will provide you with the best legal defense possible. A criminal charge, even if only a misdemeanor, will have a life-long impact on your rights as a citizen.

Contact the Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski today to schedule a free consultation.

With more than 17 years of experience in representing clients in criminal law, family law, and domestic violence cases, Andrea Kolski can meet all areas of defense needed when you are charged with domestic violence. Call (832) 381-3430 today for more information.

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The Woodlands, TX 77381

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