man and woman couple arguingIn today’s society it doesn’t take much to be accused of domestic violence. El Paso has a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence. Domestic violence is considered a crime of moral turpitude in the state of Texas, and can be very stigmatizing. Many times domestic violence charges are also accompanied by protective orders that can also carry serious consequences. Before pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge, or attending a protective order hearing, consult with an attorney about a defense for your case.

Assault Family Violence

  • Assault Family Violence involves individuals that may be in a dating relationship, married, or family members, such as siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles who engage in physical altercations where allegations of bodily injury are made.
  • Generally, Assault Family Violence cases are charged as Class A Misdemeanors in Texas, which are punishable up to 365 days in a county jail, and a fine not to exceed $4,000.
  • However, if in the commission of the assault, the alleged victim’s breath, or circulation is impeded (choking, preventing scream), the State will indict the case as a Third Degree felony, which is punishable up to 10 years and no less than 2 years in prison, with a fine not to exceed $10,000.
  • Assault Family Violence is an ehanceable crime, which means that if you have a previous plea of guilt or conviction, the state can indict your next charge as a felony.

Consequences of a Plea of Guilt to a Domestic Violence Charge

  • In addition to the everlasting stigmatizing effects of a conviction, an individual may be sentenced to jail, prison, or placed on community supervision (probation), and required to take family violence counseling.
  • Pursuant to federal law, you will not be permitted to carry or possess a firearm.
  • Current or future employment may be affected, especially employment areas such as law enforcement, military, medical, education, etc.
  • There may be ramifications if you are or ever involved in divorce or child custody proceedings.
  • Domestic violence will automatically be enhanced to a felony charge if it is shown that you have a previous plea of guilt, or conviction.
  • It will lead to deportation, exclusion from the United States, and denial of application of citizenship if you are not a United States Citizen.

You Need an Attorney Who is NOT Afraid to Stand Up to the District Attorney!

  • A common public misconception in domestic violence cases is that if the alleged victim notifies the State that he/she does not desire to go forward on the charges, the State will dismiss the case.
  • The State has the sole discretion to either dismiss or go forward on a case even though the alleged victim does not wish to pursue the charges.
  • The State does not necessarily need the alleged victim to testify in trial on every domestic violence case. If the State has sufficient evidence, it is not uncommon for prosecutors to go to trial on a case without the alleged victim’s testimony; just photographs of injury(s), 911 recorded calls, and other witness.