How Throwing a Beer Can at Your Partner Can Land You in Jail for 25 Years

March 16th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

A conviction on domestic violence charges can land you in prison for a very long time. Defendants often face an uphill battle in these cases due to the emotionally charged nature of domestic (or family) violence allegations. This is why it is essential to make sure police and prosecutors follow the law when it comes […]

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How Domestic Violence Can Raise Misdemeanor Assault to a Felony

February 12th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can elevate a misdemeanor charge into a felony offense. For example, under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, assault is normally prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor. But if the assault is committed against a member of the defendant’s family and involves “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation […]

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What Happens When a Judge Fails to Give Proper Jury Instructions in a Domestic Violence Case?

January 16th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Every Texas criminal defendant has the right to a trial by jury. This includes criminal allegations of domestic violence, or “family violence” as it is known in the Penal Code. A key element of a jury trial is that the judge must properly instruct jurors on the applicable law of each alleged offense. This means […]

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Can I Argue Self-Defense in a Domestic Violence Case?

December 9th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases often start out as a fight between spouses or partners. Prosecutors may charge one party as the sole aggressor. But what if the defendant was actually the victim? Can a defendant in a domestic violence case argue they were acting in self-defense? Houston Appeals Court Rejects Self-Defense Instruction Due to Lack of […]

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Do Police Need to Recover a Weapon to Make a Domestic Violence Charge Stick?

November 11th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Domestic violence allegations can lead to serious felony charges, especially if the accuser states the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon–such as a gun or a knife–in the commission of the offense. Such behavior is considered “aggravated assault” under Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code. In certain cases, this is a first-degree felony […]

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The Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Burglary

October 16th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Although many people associate a burglar with a thief who breaks into someone’s house and steals their property, the legal definition of “robbery” is actually quite different. Under the Texas Penal Code, a person commits burglary if they enter someone else’s house without their consent and then commits (or attempts to commit) a felony, theft, […]

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Can a Jury Convict Me If Domestic Violence Even If the Accuser Recants?

September 12th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious matter under Texas law. In some cases it can lead to felony charges and put a defendant in jail for well over a decade. So it is critical that every piece of evidence is carefully considered by the jury before it reaches a verdict. Appeals Court: Jury Allowed to Disbelieve […]

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Domestic Violence Protective Order & Divorce

August 12th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

It is not unusual for a spouse to raise allegations of domestic violence in the context of a divorce case. In some situations, a Houston court will issue a protective order against one spouse if there is evidence of abuse against either the other spouse or any children living in the home. It is therefore […]

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Is It “Domestic Violence” If I Attack My Roommate?

July 17th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

Evidence of domestic violence is often used to enhance a criminal case against a defendant in Texas. For example, Section 22.02 of the Penal Code normally treats the offense of “aggravated assault” as a second-degree felony. But in domestic violence cases, that offense can be bumped to a first-degree felony. To be more precise, aggravated […]

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Texas Legislature Establishes New “Domestic Violence Registry”

June 12th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Domestic Violence

You probably know that Texas maintains a public registry of individuals convicted of certain sex crimes. Recently, the Texas legislature voted to apply a similar principle to individuals who are the subject of a domestic violence protection order. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Bill 325, which directs the Texas Judicial System to establish a […]

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