Nowadays, if a domestic dispute escalates to the level where the police are called, it is generally a given that life is about to get complex. While sometimes, an argument may not result in any charges being filed, most of the time, someone will get arrested while that is determined. If you wind up in the situation of being arrested for or accused formally of domestic violence, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your interests are protected with the help of child abuse attorneys.
DO NOT: Speak up. As one can guess from Miranda warnings seen on television and in movies, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. It is a good idea to confirm your identity, but otherwise, say as little as possible. Never be rude to law enforcement. Do not sign any kind of statement or written confession, even if threatened. It is in your best interest to remain as silent as possible.
DO NOT: Violate any conditions placed upon you at an arraignment. Very often, a judge will impose certain restrictions on you that are punishable by a return to jail if you do not adhere to them. Examples include bans on contacting the alleged victim, surrendering any weapons and pledging to stay away from certain locations like the victim’s home. If these restrictions are violated, your bond may be revoked.
DO: Work to understand the nature of the charges against you, if there are any. Texas does not have a dedicated domestic violence law, instead preferring to charge offenders under the assault statute. Most offenses, if convicted, range from Class C misdemeanors to third degree felonies, depending on the facts involved and the degree of harm to the victim. Texas’ assault statute also distinguishes episodes where suffocation or strangling has occurred, making most of these events felonies of the third degree. Be advised that Texas domestic violence law also does not only extend to married couples issuing mutual order of protection; it also encompasses anyone residing in your household or with whom you have a ‘dating relationship.’
DO: Know the potential consequences if you have children. Unless you win your case at trial or have the charges dropped, you may be at risk for a family violence finding. A family violence finding on your permanent criminal record can have numerous consequences, but perhaps the most dire is the effect it will have on the presumption of your parenting: namely, it will bias the court toward determining you are an unfit parent. Depending on the nature of your domestic violence charge, you may conceivably lose custody of your children.
DO: Contact an experienced Collin County criminal defense attorney. The Allen criminal defense attorneys at Rosenthal & Wadas have years of experience in domestic violence cases, and are well versed in the procedure of fighting these charges. Contact our office today at 877-538-8640 (toll free) or via our website to schedule a free initial consultation.