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Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Assault Family Violence

In the state of Texas, assault family violence is defined under Texas Family Code § 71.004 as a serious threat or act of violence that occurs between members of a family or household. Even if the alleged perpetrator is not a member of the family or household, this individual can be charged with family violence if he or she had a past or present marital or dating relationship with the victim. The alleged perpetrator may be charged with assault with family violence if the incident involved physical contact of any kind, even if that contact did not result in an injury. Often times such allegations are made in anticipation of, and/or during, separation or divorce. If you have been accused of assault family violence, assault, stalking, or harassment, it is important to take immediate action to ensure your rights and freedoms, and the rights and freedoms of your family, are protected. Retain legal counsel and advocacy as soon as it becomes apparent such threats and accusations may be made. The damage that such accusations can make are far reaching and the penalties for these types of crimes can be very severe. You must also keep in mind that family violence cases are not eligible for an expunction, regardless if the matter is resolved via a plea to deferred adjudication, this type of conviction will stay on your criminal record for life so do not hope for the best, prepare for the worst and retain counsel to assist you in preventing this potentially disastrous result.

Assault Family Violence Laws in Texas

Texas affords victims of family violence the right to pursue a protective order if they believe it necessary to ensure their, and their family’s, personal safety. These Protective orders, described under Texas Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.292, as well as further defined via the Texas Attorney General’s website as “a civil court order issued to prevent continuing acts of family violence.”, and are designed to “protect” the alleged victim as well as designed to inhibit an alleged offender’s personal freedoms in a variety of ways. Examples of what Protective orders may prohibit you from are they may force you to cease any and all communication with your family, or order that you keep away from your home and places where your family members work or attend school. Additionally, protective orders may have affirmative requirements such as that a party attend mandatory counseling or complete a battering intervention and prevention program, require the surrender any firearms, surrender of the permit to carry firearms, revoke security privileges if in the military or law enforcement, and prevent you from obtaining a fishing or hunting license. Lastly, they often create a situation in a family law matter that the victim wins both on conservatorship issues as well as on any request that the other party pay child support and/or spousal support.

Do you know anyone that may have you been accused of family violence? It isn’t a rare accusation anymore. In 2016, more than 196,564 incidents of family violence were reported in Texas. Many such charges are based on exaggerated or false testimony and often are only made by someone who stands to gain from such allegations in a divorce or custody case. If you have been falsely accused of family violence, we are prepared to defend your rights. At Abercrombie & Sanchez Law, PLLC, we have the litigation and practice experience necessary to help you navigate such treacherous waters. Our experience affords us the ability to defend our clients and help them avoid, if at all possible, the negative implications associated with such accusations. If you or a loved one has been charged with family violence, assault, harassment, stalking, or a similar crime, do not hesitate and contact Abercrombie & Sanchez Law, PLLC, right away. We stand ready to help you and put you in touch with a dedicated and experienced lawyer who can best advise you about your situation.

Domestic Violence Charges and Consequences

Serious penalties, professional and family consequences typically result from accusations of domestic violence. Without counsel you run the risk of the worst possible outcome for you personally, professionally and for your family. The best way to address such situations is not to hide your head in the sand but to hire an attorney who can confront the charges early and aggressively so as to potentially limit the far-reaching impact that such accusations can create.

At Abercrombie & Sanchez Law, PLLC, we have experienced attorneys who have defended both men and women when facing domestic assault charges. The most important things in anyone’s life is what they have worked their whole life to establish, family and careers. With everything on the line, do not take chances that matters will go away or that someone will recant or agree to stop prosecuting such claims. Our firm ensures that we exhaust avenue to ensure, if at all possible, we prevent a conviction, or at a minimum mitigate the penalties. We do so at every stage of a case up to and including defending you at trial.

Assault with family violence can be any physical contact such as grabbing, pushing, scratching, or hitting, with or without bodily injury. Sometimes it may only be based upon or involve threats of violence or physical intimidation with the use of a weapon or threat of a weapon. Many people own firearms in the U.S. and as such these types of accusations of threats are on the rise. What you must know is that the charges and potential penalties depend on the degree of harm or threat along with some other factors such as previous family violence. Assault with family violence is most often a Class C misdemeanor if the victim suffered no physical pain or lasting harm. In Texas, Class C offenses are punishable by a $500 fine, but a conviction can cause other problems. Domestic assault (assault with family violence) may be a Class A misdemeanor if the contact caused pain (such as a slap), left physical marks (such as cuts or bruises) or resulted in lasting injury (such as a broken jaw). Class A offenses are punishable by up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $4,000. And the risk and penalties on ly go up from there. Domestic violence may be charged as a third-degree felony for strangulation (choking) or if the assailant has prior domestic violence convictions. These offenses are punishable by 2 to 10 years in a Texas penitentiary. So as you can see, the consequences of a domestic violence conviction can create devastating effects up to and including civil fees and jail time and a criminal record. Such convictions for domestic assault or violating a protective orders have long lasting ramifications as if you are convicted you cannot own or possess firearms and cannot obtain a Texas hunting or fishing license or license to carry personal firearms. These types of convictions can also affect your employment, especially if you have a career as a pilot, are military personnel, teachers, health care workers and/or city/county/state employees, as if you have a conviction for one of these related offenses you may be terminated or prevented from gaining employment because of such records. Last but not least, it absolutely will affect any divorce and child custody proceeding. Under the Texas Family Code a conviction or finding by the Court of family violence has the legal effect to requiring the Court award the victim party sole-managing conservatorship and even supervised access to children.

The only way to properly defend yourself and your family is to retain an attorney who can aggressively provide you the defense you and your family need. If the spouse or family member does not want to press charges there are avenues, such as an affidavit of non-prosecution, which may help convince the prosecutor to drop the case. As precautionary alert, you must remember that the prosecutor has sole discretion, regardless of the victim’s wishes or cooperation. In reality most people charged with domestic assault are not terrible people or necessarily prone to violence, but a conviction for these related offenses can create that effect in someone’s life. In many states, when law enforcement officials arrive at the scene of family violence situations, they typically arrest the man 99 percent of the time, even when or if the altercation or physical contact was initiated by the female. A good lawyer’s job is to prepare and ensure that the opportunity is created for the other side of the story to be told, to ensure that any mitigating factors are made known, and if necessary proceed to litigate matters so as to convince the prosecutor, a judge or a jury that the allegations are unfounded, blown out of proportion or fabricated for ulterior motives. At Abercrombie & Sanchez Law, PLLC, we work to reach or negotiate a resolution that avoids a conviction. If no such agreement or resolution is available then we prepare your matter so that if we must try the case, our trial team of lawyers are prepared to tell your story and ensure, if at all possible, that your story creates doubt in the jurors’ minds about what happened and whether there was any real harm or threat so you can avoid all the negative repercussions and effects of a conviction for family violence.

Child Abuse

Allegations of child abuse or of injury to a child can result in serious criminal charges in Texas. You can feel protected with our aggressive attorneys for injury to a child defense. Child abuse or injury to a child is an assault crime that means that you are being accused of doing or failing to do something that caused a child to have a serious injury or a serious mental deficiency. The offense of injury to a child and child abuse are felony charges, with the level of felony and potential jail sentence depending on the circumstance and the severity of the alleged harm to the child. If you have been accused of child abuse or causing injury to a child, you must have an experienced attorney who understands these charges and will aggressively protect your rights. The state will assemble a team consisting of the police and of investigators for Child Protective Services. This State team will work together in order to develop the investigation and the evidence necessary so that resulting criminal charges can be filed if warranted. This means that at the earliest stages of any such accusations, you should protect yourself by bringing in an attorney who can lead you through the perilous battle zone of such an investigation. Many times you can defeat the charges before they are even filed by doing so. At Abercrombie & Sanchez Law, PLLC, our team of attorneys understand how these charges can play out. We have board certified attorneys and over 21 years of combined experience dealing with these types of cases. Our firm’s strong foundation in family law, along with years of experience working on CPS matters with assault and family violence components means we are more than prepared to help you and your family in such instances. Our team is familiar with the complex laws in this area, and the myriad of potential defenses available to you. Our firm’s approach is to prepare each case we have for trial in the hope that trial never becomes necessary. If you train for a fight most times you can avoid one, but if you can’t, if or when that time comes you are prepared to litigate. Our goal is to identify every possible resolution that may work for your case so that you and your family can move past the trauma of such a case and get back to life as you once knew it to be.

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