Larry P. McDougal
Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas
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Domestic violence charges in Texas are serious

You and your spouse got into an argument and someone called the police. Now, you are facing criminal charges for domestic violence. This is a very serious situation that can have an impact on the rest of your life.

There are several things that you should know if you are facing domestic violence charges in Texas. Consider these points:

Domestic violence can impact anyone

Nobody is immune from domestic violence allegations. Men and women can face these charges. People who live in poverty and those in the 1 percent can face domestic violence accusations. As long as the case meets the legal standards, prosecutors can levy charges.

Specific requirements for domestic violence charges

The relationship between the alleged abuser and the victim matters. In Texas, domestic violence charges require that the people involved are family members, in a relationship, were previously in a relationship, or live in the same home.

Additionally, the violent act had to be intentional. There doesn't have to be an actual physical attack. Threats that construe bodily harm can qualify for domestic violence charges. Actions that the victim considers offensive can also lead to these charges.

The penalties vary

Domestic violence charges can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. The classification of the charge has an impact on the penalty that might apply. For example, if the charge is a class C misdemeanor, you face one year in jail. If the charge is a first-degree felony, you face anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison.

The charge classification depends on several factors. The classification might be more serious if there is strangulation or suffocation involved. Your previous criminal history is another factor, as is your actual relationship with victim.

Victims can't revoke charges

Once the prosecution opts to pursue charges, the victim can't choose to revoke the charges. Instead, only the prosecution or the court can make the decision to stop pursing the charges. If you and the victim make up, this doesn't mean that the charge will go away.

Victims face a difficult situation here because they can face criminal charges if they disobey court orders. This means that they can't just skip out on a court date if they are subpoenaed.

Defense options to consider

There are several defense options that might be appropriate in these cases. If the physical contact or perceived threat was unintentional, you might be able to show that as part of your defense. Self-defense and claiming that the situation never occurred are also defenses that are sometimes possible in these cases. You should find out what defense strategies are possible in your case and move on from there.

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