How Domestic Violence Charges Can Send You to Jail If You Are Currently on Probation
January 15th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence
A domestic violence charge is never a good thing. But such allegations are especially problematic if you are already on community supervision (probation) for another criminal offense. Texas judges will not hesitate to revoke an individual’s probation if there is credible evidence of domestic violence–or “family violence,” as it is formally known in the Texas Penal Code.
Judges Believe Accuser’s Story in He Said/She Said Dispute
For example, an appeals court here in Houston recently upheld a trial judge’s decision to revoke community supervision against a defendant who was previously convicted of aggravated assault and promoting prostitution. The defendant was serving probation for those offenses when prosecutors accused him of failing to pay the requires fees associated with his community supervision. In addition, prosecutors alleged the defendant assaulted his girlfriend, which qualifies as an act of family violence.
The defendant and his girlfriend were the only witnesses who testified at the hearing to revoke community supervision. The girlfriend testified she was pregnant with the defendant’s child at the time of the incident. She said she learned the defendant had been “speaking sexually” with her best friend.
The girlfriend then went to the defendant’s apartment to confront him about this. He let her in, and the couple proceeded to argue. The girlfriend acknowledged the argument itself did not get physical–i.e., the defendant did not touch her. However, the defendant told the girlfriend to leave his house, and she refused to do so. At that point, the girlfriend said the defendant “jumped her and grabbed her by the neck.” Eventually, the girlfriend left the apartment and called 911.
The defendant testified that “he wanted to try to work things out” with his girlfriend when she came to his apartment. But the girlfriend “broke his television and threw a plate, and eventually, she started swinging at him.” And while he said he did not “punch, slap, kick, or choke her,” he admitted to causing her “bodily injury” in the course of ejecting her from his apartment.
The trial judge believed the girlfriend’s account and revoked the defendant’s probation. The Texas 14th District Court of Appeals affirmed that decision. The appeals court said the trial court was within its discretion to find the defendant “exerted more force than necessary to remove the girlfriend from his home during a heated argument.” Indeed, the Court noted the defendant weighed twice as much as his girlfriend, and that the use of force was, therefore “not reasonable or justified under the circumstances.”
Contact a Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
When it comes to domestic violence, courts often do not give the accused the benefit of the doubt, especially when they are already on probation. This is why it is critical to work with an experienced Houston domestic violence defense attorney who will zealously represent you when faced with such allegations. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates if you live in the Houston, Galveston, or League City areas and need to speak with a lawyer today.