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The Top Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer In A Domestic Violence Case

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski
Couple arguing

It can happen to anyone, a simple family argument turns into someone calling the police. Before you know it, you are sitting in jail facing criminal charges in a domestic violence case. Your entire world is suddenly turned upside down. But, there is hope.

In 2019 there were 46,268 adults and 25,369 children who were victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence court cases require knowledge of both law and court procedures to put forth the best defense.

There are severe consequences when you violate domestic violence law in Texas. Whether you are guilty or innocent, keep reading to learn what defines domestic violence and the benefits of hiring a domestic violence lawyer.

According to the Texas Family Code §71.004, family violence is an action against a member of a person’s family or household. That action is made with the intent of causing physical harm, assault, bodily injury, or sexual assault.

It can also be making a threat that makes the other person fearful of imminent danger of harm or assault. This also applies to abuse defined in §261.001 or dating violence pursuant to §71.0021.

For domestic abuse or violence, the family includes a variety of people, including:

  • Those related by blood
  • Those related by affinity, such as marriage, former marriage, or biological parents of the same child
  • Foster children and foster parents
  • Members or former members of the same household, such a roommates
  • People in a dating or former dating relationship

While women are sometimes the offender, the majority of persons accused of this crime are male. In 2017 out of 207,231 offenders, 73.1% were male.

Minimize the Consequences of Your Domestic Violence Case

The biggest benefit of hiring an attorney that specializes in domestic violence cases is their ability to minimize the consequences. The charge classification in which you are convicted impacts the penalties you face.

There are three misdemeanor classes for domestic violence. Penalties range from up to a $500 fine to a $4,000 fine and one-year jail sentence.

There are four levels of felonies. Penalties range from a minimum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 for a state jail felony. A first-degree felony maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

When you hire a domestic violence lawyer they will work to prove your innocence. If they are unable to obtain a dismissal, they will negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction in charges. This is what is commonly known as a plea bargain.

You may feel you can negotiate on your own, but the prosecution will recognize your position as a layperson and use your lack of legal knowledge against you. You will likely get no plea offer, or it will not be the equivalent of what an attorney can obtain.

Reduce the Restrictions of a No-Contact Order

In Texas, a no-contact order instructs the person accused of violence that they are not to have any personal contact with the alleged victim. There is generally a minimum number of feet you must stay away from the alleged victim’s residence, place of work, and other areas they frequent. These orders are usually for up to twelve months but may extend for a two-year period depending on the type of abuse.

Depending on the facts of your domestic violence case, your attorney may petition the judge for a reduction on restrictions, such as allowing you to have contact for the purpose of exchanging children with your spouse or ex-spouse for parenting time.

Ability to Demand Discovery

Your domestic violence attorney will know the type of evidence necessary to prove innocence or guilt in domestic violence cases. They know how to file a demand for discovery or a subpoena duces tecum to obtain everything from body-cam footage from the police to medical reports of the alleged victim.

Your attorney will have the knowledge to determine whether the evidence the prosecution presents has holes that require further investigation or if it was obtained in a questionable manner.

Experience and Knowledge in Court Procedures

The court procedures when facing a criminal charge include numerous court appearances, beginning with the arraignment and ending with an acquittal or sentencing. Your domestic violence attorney will be knowledgeable about all of these steps and able to answer your questions, advise you on procedures, and present your case before the judge.

If appropriate they may file motions for suppression of evidence, reduction in bond, change in a no-contact order, and more. If you are convicted of the original charge or a reduced charge, they will be familiar with sentencing procedures.

This includes the manner in which a preliminary sentencing investigation (PSI) is conducted and its impact on the sentence you receive. If there are errors in the PSI report your attorney will know how to object to those errors at your sentencing hearing.

The Initial Consultation

Domestic Violence is a serious crime. When you meet with your attorney for the initial conversation they will ask numerous questions about your case, including what happened, if there were witnesses, and your criminal history. You can also make a list of questions for the attorney, including:

  • How much experience do you have handling this type of case?
  • How often do you take a case to trial?
  • Do you have client testimonials I can review?
  • What are the steps for resolving my case?
  • Is there any additional information you need me to provide?
  • The judge issued a no-contact order, what do I do if he/she contacts me?
  • With a no-contact order, how do I handle exchanging my children for parenting time?
  • Are you the attorney who will be handling my case?
  • How do we stay in contact?
  • Is there anyone in your office such as a paralegal I can speak to when you are not available?
  • What are your fees?

The answers the attorney gives will help you decide if they are the best domestic violence attorney for your case.

When You Are Charged With Domestic Violence

If you find yourself suddenly being handcuffed and hauled off to jail you need to contact an experienced domestic violence attorney. My experience as past president of the Montgomery County Defense Bar, serving as a prosecutor for six years, and spending 17 years in criminal law provides me with insight into presenting the best domestic violence case defense.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the testimonials from prior clients of the Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski, then give me a call at 832-381-3430 to schedule a consultation.

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The Woodlands Office
8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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"Andrea is a fantastic attorney versed in many fields. I've retained her services for criminal defense, nondisclosure orders, and family law. She has always provided a...

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