Domestic Violence Charges and Consequences
Accusations of domestic violence carry serious criminal penalties and collateral consequences. You need an attorney who can confront the charges early and aggressively to limit the impact.
Schneider Law Firm provides experienced criminal defense to men and women facing domestic assault charges. With everything on the line, we will exhaust every avenue to prevent a conviction or mitigate the penalties, including defending you at trial.
Lawyers for Domestic Assault Defense
Domestic assault, known in Texas as assault with family violence, can be any physical contact (grabbing, pushing, scratching, hitting, etc.), with or without bodily injury. It may also involve threats of violence or physical intimidation, use of a weapon or threat of a weapon. The charges and potential penalties depend on the degree of harm or threat and other factors such as previous family violence:
- Domestic assault is a Class C misdemeanor if the victim suffered no physical pain or lasting harm. Class C offenses are punishable by a $500 fine, but a conviction can cause other problems.
- Domestic assault is 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.
- 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.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In addition to jail time and a criminal record, a conviction for domestic assault or violating a protective order has other lasting ramifications:
- You cannot own or possess firearms.
- You cannot obtain a Texas hunting or fishing license.
- Current or future employment may be affected, especially for pilots, military personnel, teachers, health care workers and city/county/state employees.
- There may be ramifications for divorce and child custody.
The Aggressive Criminal Defense You Need
If the spouse or family member does not want to press charges, an affidavit of non-prosecution may help convince the prosecutor to drop the case. However, the prosecutor has sole discretion, regardless of the victim’s wishes or cooperation.
At Schneider Law Firm, we know that most people charged with domestic assault are not bad characters or prone to violence. Law enforcement arrests the man 99 percent of the time, even when the altercation or physical contact was initiated by the female partner.
Our criminal law attorneys’ job is to present the other side of the story and any mitigating factors, to convince the prosecutor or a jury that the allegations are unfounded, blown out of proportion or fabricated for ulterior motives. We can sometimes negotiate a resolution that avoids a conviction and all the consequences. If we must try the case, our trial lawyers are skilled at creating doubt in the jurors’ minds about what happened and whether there was any real harm or threat.