Houston Domestic violence accusations are serious. The police will likely arrest you with little-to-no reason, and the system that’s supposed to protect people often causes a lot of harm.
You have to fight domestic violence charges, and the consequences are too significant not to. A conviction goes on your permanent record; it’ll impact your career, family, and reputation. You may even spend time behind bars. Before a court finds you guilty, a restraining order bars you from your home, or you lose your right to own a firearm, call a domestic violence defense attorney for help.
Never underestimate domestic violence accusations; they won’t blow over. You can reach The Law Offices of Ned Barnett online or at (713) 222-6767. We’ll set up a free, confidential consultation.
Arrested for Domestic Violence? Ned Barnett Can Help
Ned Barnett is board certified as a criminal lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization with over 30 years of experience in the Houston area. Ned also used to be a federal and state prosecutor. That gives him a unique perspective on how prosecutors approach domestic violence cases. He knows where mistakes happen when to challenge the evidence, and what’s on the line for his clients.
Attorney Barnett has a long history of getting positive outcomes for people accused of domestic violence charges in and around Houston. Review some of our impressive case results and contact us to learn how we can help you too.
Houston Domestic Violence Charges: What To Expect
When Mr. Barnett takes on your case, he’ll get to the bottom of what happened. A neighbor might’ve misinterpreted a heated argument, an ex-romantic partner might want revenge, or a co-parent might try to influence a child custody battle.
Whatever the circumstances, Ned crafts a unique strategy to pursue the best possible outcome. He may push the prosecutor or judge to drop the charges when it’s clear the case is weak. If the prosecutor won’t, he’ll file a motion to dismiss.
Sometimes, he negotiates the charges down. By getting a felony lowered to a misdemeanor, you can more easily move on with your life. But if a conviction is possible, he might recommend negotiating a plea or asking for deferred adjudication.
Mr. Barnett will always explain your rights and options. You’ll know the best and worst-case scenarios. You can be confident that he’ll fight for your freedom every step of the way.
Domestic Violence in Texas
Domestic violence is called family violence in Texas. It includes:
- Acts against another family or household member intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault
- Threats of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault
- Abuse by family or household member toward a child
- Dating violence
Who the Law Considers Family
The term “family” covers people who are:
- Related by blood or marriage
- Current or former spouses
- Parents of the same child
- Foster parents and children
The definition applies whether family members currently live together or not. Family violence also includes people who live in the same household or are in a current or former dating relationship.
Domestic Violence Charges & Penalties
Domestic violence itself isn’t a specific offense. Instead, a prosecutor will charge you with crimes like assault, aggravated assault, or continuous violence against the family. You also could face sex crime charges.
Domestic assault charges involve intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Causing another person bodily injury
- Threatening another with imminent bodily injury
- Causing physical contact with another person when you know or should reasonably believe the other person will think the contact is offensive
One way domestic violence becomes a felony is if you’re accused of strangling someone. If you apply pressure to someone’s neck or cover their nose and mouth to prevent them from breathing, prosecutors will charge you with a felony.
Aggravated Assault Charges
Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.02, aggravated assault includes:
- Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during an assault
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony. It’s punishable by between two and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you used a deadly weapon, it’s a first-degree felony. You face between five and 99 years or life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Continuous Violence Against Family
Under Texas Penal Code Section 25.11, continuous violence against the family includes two or more domestic violence instances over 12 months or less. It’s a third-degree felony.
Protection Orders After Domestic Violence Allegations
There are often immediate consequences when someone accuses you of domestic violence in Harris County, Texas. For instance, alleged victims may seek a protective order. This is a civil court order that forces you to stay away.
When someone asks for a PO, the court schedules a hearing no more than two weeks later. If the judge believes you are a danger, they’ll issue a temporary order. It can last for up to 20 days.
The person can also get a temporary PO without your knowledge. But you have to be told about the hearing for a permanent order. That will be your chance to defend yourself in court. It’s best to have a Houston domestic violence lawyer on your side.
A permanent PO can last two years, and the alleged victim can ask the court to extend it.
You must obey a PO; you may not be allowed to the person’s home, school, or work. You might be banned from calling, texting, or contacting them in any way.
A PO can force you to stay away from your children, too. Your custody and visitation rights will need to be addressed in family court.
If you violate a PO, you face additional charges. You could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fines up to $4,000.
Defending Against Family Violence Charges
It’s frustrating when someone accuses you of something you didn’t do. It’s even harder to accept when the allegations can ruin your reputation. You must hire a Houston domestic violence lawyer to overcome these accusations.
Possible defenses include:
- Defense of others
- False accusations
- Insufficient evidence
Self-defense doesn’t always work. There are rules around when self-defense is justified and not. Your actions must have been a proportional response to another person’s physical violence.
Call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett
A domestic charge won’t go away on its own. It’s a serious charge with harsh consequences, even if it’s a misdemeanor. Criminal defense attorney Ned Barnett offers compassion, discretion, and considerable experience. As a former prosecutor, he knows how to address protective orders and what it takes to fight domestic violence charges.