Galveston \ League City Domestic Violence Attorney
Compassionate Domestic Violence Lawyers Serving Galveston County, Texas
Allegations of domestic violence are very serious issues. No matter how small you believe an incident to be, you cannot sit back and let this type of situation handle itself. Whether your case involves alleged spousal abuse, child abuse or child endangerment, the best thing you can do is to get a legal professional by your side as soon as possible. You never know what could take place or what could end up happening in these situations. Take the proper steps to protect yourself and your family.
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we are uniquely qualified to handle these types of cases, as our firm is committed to both Texas family law and Texas criminal law. With allegations of domestic violence, these two areas of the law frequently overlap. If you need legal advice, please do not delay in contacting our compassionate Galveston domestic violence lawyer today.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is an umbrella term for violent acts or threats between two (or more) people in a certain relationship. These relationships span from people, regardless of sexual orientation, living together to those who are married, dating, and those who have had a child together. When it comes to determining what domestic violence is, you may need the input of a domestic violence attorney. The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates has the experience in this field to provide you with ample information and assistance in determining a domestic violence case. We know understanding protective orders and how to defend yourself against these allegations is a great start to building a strong defense.
Domestic violence can be anything from slapping or punching to stalking and rape (in some extreme cases). These crimes can be committed against adults and, unfortunately, children alike. More detailed information on what you could be falsely accused of is outlined below.
It is important to get legal representation as soon as possible if you find yourself accused of domestic violence. Waiting for representation or not getting it at all could cost you more than you realize. Our domestic violence lawyers are ready to fight for your justice.
Domestic Violence and Protective Orders in Texas
It is important that people understand the fact that domestic abuse can be both physical and emotional. If you have been the victim of any type of abuse, you need to protect yourself and your family. Should you feel that you are being threatened, or if you have been involved in a physical altercation, our Galveston domestic violence lawyers can help.
We will assist you by preparing and filing the petition you will need in order to obtain a protective order against your spouse. We find it especially important for clients to always remain cautious, even after an order has been filed. If there are children involved, you may need to modify a child custody agreement. We can also assist with such modifications to protect the best interests of your child. Regardless, we will find the legal solution that best fits your unique personal needs.
Restraining Order/Protective Order Violations
Protective orders are very restrictive and easy to violate. If you’ve been charged with violating a restraining order — the sooner you hire an attorney the better. As a former assistant district attorney for Galveston County, Tad Nelson will work to minimize the potential damage and be the strongest advocate he can possibly be on your behalf.
The Family Violence Enhancement
Texas has what is known as a family violence enhancement for criminal charges involving domestic violence. What that means is that if you are convicted on a domestic violence-related charge such as aggravated assault, the sentence you receive will likely be more severe than for a charge stemming from a bar fight with a stranger. This family violence enhancement may have other long-lasting effects that could cost you your right to own or possess a firearm.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Texas
When you are facing any kind of charges related to domestic violence in Texas, it is critical to understand that you can be facing a wide range of penalties and consequences. While the criminal penalties associated with a conviction for an offense that involves domestic violence can be severe, you can also face additional consequences that do not have anything to do with your criminal sentence, from various restrictions on your personal freedoms to your ability to share child custody of your minor child. To be clear, the consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Texas are severe and far-reaching, and it is essential to have an experienced Texas domestic violence defense lawyer on your side who can help you to fight the charges you are facing or to defend against allegations of domestic violence in a hearing for a protective order.
There are criminal consequences for domestic violence allegations if the allegations result in criminal charges and a conviction. Generally speaking, domestic violence allegations can be charged under the Texas Penal Code as assault against a spouse or assault against a family member. These elements of these criminal offenses usually involve knowingly or recklessly causing harm to a spouse or family member. If you are convicted of a domestic violence-related assault charge, you will face at least Class A misdemeanor consequences. For a Class A misdemeanor conviction, you can be sentenced to up to one year in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $4,000. When there are aggravating factors, or when you have a previous domestic violence conviction on your record, you can be convicted of a third-degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Consequences of a Protective Order in Domestic Violence Cases
If a spouse, current or former partner, or other family member seeks a domestic violence protective order in Texas, you need to present your side of the case at the hearing in order to avoid having a protective order entered against you. If a protective order is entered, that order can order you to do any of the following, depending upon the facts of the case.
- Move out of your home;
- Not carry a firearm, even if you have a valid license;
- Attend a substance abuse treatment program;
- Get drug testing; and/or
- Stay away from your family, including your partner’s home or workplace, and your child’s school.
These are just some examples of what a protective order can do.
Family Law Repercussions and Child Custody Limitations
In addition to the consequences outlined above, the Texas Family Code also allows a court to restrict child custody—known as a conservatorship and possession in Texas—in cases involving domestic violence.
Defending Yourself Against Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges should not be taken lightly, as conviction can have devastating consequences not only for a defendant, but also for his or her entire family, especially if those allegations are false. You can, however, defend yourself against these kinds of charges, so if you were recently accused of domestic violence, you should speak with a Houston domestic violence lawyer who can review your case, explain your legal options, and help you develop a sound defense.
The Accuser Made a Mistake
Defendants who have been falsely accused of domestic violence are often able to demonstrate that the allegations in their case are a mistake. This is especially common in cases where the accuser is young and impressionable, making it difficult for him or her to remember who was present at the time of the alleged offense. Evidence that the identity of the aggressor is unclear can also be used to weaken a prosecutor’s domestic violence case. Proof that there were few lights or that no one actually saw the event occur, for instance, can quickly poke holes in the state’s arguments. This type of evidence often proves to be particularly helpful in cases where the accuser or the witness only heard, but didn’t actually see the alleged act of violence.
The Accuser is Misrepresenting the Truth
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for heated arguments to end in allegations of domestic violence, especially when the case involves the end of a romantic relationship or a former partner. For instance, these allegations often arise in divorce cases, with the accuser hoping to gain leverage in a custody dispute. By scouring an accuser’s story against other evidence, like eyewitness testimony and police reports, for inconsistencies could help a defendant avoid wrongful conviction.
I Acted in Self-Defense
When a person commits an act of violence against a family or household member in self-defense, he or she cannot be convicted of domestic violence. However, for this defense to apply, a defendant will need to prove that he or she:
- Did not initiate the first act of aggression;
- Reasonably perceived an imminent threat to him or herself or another family member; and
- Responded to the aggressor’s actions in a proportional manner.
To learn more about the kinds of evidence that can be used when claiming self-defense, please reach out to our office today.
There is no Evidence of Domestic Violence
Under Texas law, those who accuse someone else of a crime, including domestic violence, must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the act occurred. Evidence can include everything from photos and police reports to medical records and witness testimony. When this evidence is circumstantial, however, the state will also need to prove that the abuse was intentional, a feat that is often difficult to achieve.
Unfortunately, in some cases, domestic violence and abuse allegations are leveled against people who are wholly innocent of the charges. You could be falsely accused of:
Regardless, these accusations can and will have major ramifications on your life. Not only could you end up in jail, but you could also lose out on your family law rights, potentially even being denied from having a relationship with your own children. If you are facing false domestic abuse allegations in Galveston, TX, we can aggressively defend you. We have found that arguments can get heated and parties can make false allegations out of anger or fear. We are here to set the record straight by representing you thoroughly and effectively against all charges.
Contact Our Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers Today
At Tad Nelson & Associates, we understand how small disagreements within a relationship can quickly snowball out of control. We also understand just how dramatically a conviction for domestic violence can change your life. Our goal is to keep you out of jail if at all possible, and to minimize the potential for serious damage to your life and standing in the community. Our compassionate Galveston domestic violence lawyers are standing by, ready to assist you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us today at (281) 280-0100 to set up a no obligation, fully confidential consultation. From our office in the heart of Galveston, we serve individuals and families all around Galveston County and throughout Southeast Texas.
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