Most people have had an argument with a spouse or significant other that turned heated. If someone calls the police, at least one party can expect to be arrested and face domestic violence charges. That’s because police would rather make an arrest than risk leaving someone in danger at the scene.
In fact, police in Texas are required to make an arrest if they see any sign of injury, and that includes a red mark or a scratch.
Depending on the situation and the injuries that resulted, an individual could face misdemeanor or felony prosecution. If the injuries were serious or there was already a protective order in place, the penalties can be severe.
Can domestic violence charges be dropped by the alleged victim?
In many cases, the situation eventually calms down and everyone involved wants life to get back to normal. However, it isn’t up to the alleged victim to decide to drop the charges, this is a decision that the prosecutor gets to make, and they rarely drop charges.
The only way to work toward the most favorable outcome is by calling a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling domestic abuse cases. The lawyer can investigate what happened and work with the prosecutor to have the charges dismissed or reach a plea agreement.
Civil protective orders and family law proceedings
In addition to facing criminal charges, the alleged abuser could also face a civil protective order. These orders forbid the alleged abuser from contacting the alleged victim and possibly their children. The order may also limit travel and require the alleged abuser to find a new place to live.
If a protective order is put into place, the alleged abuser will lose gun ownership and possession rights and could face professional disciplinary actions in professions such as law enforcement, nursing, teaching, medicine or coaching.
The abuse allegations can also affect family law proceedings. Domestic violence is taken into account in both divorce and child custody cases. For example, an alleged abuser may be ordered to pay alimony to an alleged victim, and he (or she) may be denied custody of the children.
What to do after being accused of domestic violence
As you can see, domestic violence allegations can affect many aspects of a person’s life. Anyone facing charges or a protective order must work with a lawyer to make sure that his or her rights are protected before an unfortunate chain of events begins to take place.