Family Violence Offenses
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Texas takes domestic violence and family violence crimes very seriously and the penalties for these types of crimes can be severe. Even before your case is adjudicated you may be required to move out of your home and have no contact with the complaining witness. It is important to contact an attorney right away. Paul Doyle is a veteran Domestic Violence Attorney and has experience handling all types of family violence cases.
Who is considered a family or household member?
Texas law defines a family or household member as:
- Anyone related by blood;
- Anyone related by marriage;
- Foster parents;
- Step parents;
- Parents of the same child;
- Former spouses; and
- Anyone who resides or previously resided in the same home.
Will my charges be dropped if my girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, or spouse wants to drop the charge?
No. A confusing aspect of the criminal justice system is that it is not up to the victim to drop the charge. This decision is made by the District Attorney's Office. Even if the victim asks the District Attorney to drop the charge or recants, the District Attorney will likely pursue charges anyway.
What is a Magistrates Order for Emergency Protection (MOEP)?
A judge may issue a MOEP in order to ensure the safety of the alleged victim. This can order you to not commit family violence; not stalk another person; not communicate in a threatening or harassing manner with the victim, their family, or a member of their household; or go near the victim's residence, school, child-care facility, or place of employment. The MOEP will further order that you are not allowed to possess a firearm.
It is important to abide by these orders. A violation of a MOEP could result in your bond being revoked and having further charges filed against you.
What is a Protective Order?
A Final Protective Order is a court order that is similar to a MOEP but can lastfor up to two years. In order for a Protective Order to be granted, the petitioner must show, "Family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future."The consequences for violating a Protective Order are similar to the consequences for violating a MOEP.
What happens if I am not a U.S. citizen?
A person charged with domestic violence who is not a United States citizen can face serious penalties. Federal law requires deportation even if the case ends in probation or deferred adjudication. Re-entry into the United States will probably be denied after arrest, even if the case has not gone to trial
What does it mean to have a family violence finding?
A plea of either guilty or no contest will result in a family violence finding even if the sentence is deferred.A finding of family violence can have drastic consequences for a parent facing a child custody or modification case. There probably will be a presumption that the accused is not a fit parent. Further, a second Assault Family Violence conviction is treated as a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Recent Case Results
- State of Texas vs. _______, Assault, Family Member, 4/16, DISMISSED
- State of Texas vs. _______, Terroristic Threat, 3/16, DISMISSED
- State of Texas vs. _______, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Family Member, 7/15, DISMISSED
- State of Texas vs. ______, Interference with Emergency Telephone Call, 05/15, DISMISSED.
- State of Texas vs. _______, Assault on Public Servant, 4/16, DISMISSED
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Family Member, 10/14, DISMISSED, mutual combat.
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault, 09/14, DISMISSED, mutual combat
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Family Member, 09/14, DISMISSED after set of trial.
- State of Texas vs. ______, Violation of Protective Order, 4/14, DISMISSED.
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Domestic Violence, Impeding Breath, 9/13, DISMISSED.
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Domestic Violence, 9/11, DISMISSED (Despite bruising to Client’s girlfriend, Client was involved in mutual combat and was defending himself.)
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Domestic Violence, 8/11, DISMISSED (Client accused of throwing a bottle and striking future ex-wife)
- State of Texas vs. ______, Resisting Arrest, 7/11, DISMISSED
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Family Member, 7/2011, Deferred (Initial offer 300 days in jail)
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Family Member, 6/2011, DISMISSED (Complainant now being investigated for false report)
- State of Texas vs. ______, Assault Family Member, 5/11, DISMISSED (Despite objection from HPD Investigator)