Few people can elicit an emotional, passionate response like a loved one, but in some cases, this can lead to serious legal troubles because a domestic violence arrest can lead to hefty fines, jail time, embarrassment and even troubles keeping or getting a job that has strict morality/ethical standards.
Texas Family Code § 71.004 defines domestic violence as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.”
An arrest for domestic assault can leave you feeling frightened for your freedom and your future, particularly if you have a prior domestic violence conviction. But this is where an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer can help.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our Texas domestic violence attorneys represent clients who stand accused of a range of different crimes, including domestic violence crimes, such as domestic assault and battery.
Our Dallas County law firm was founded by a defense lawyer who has been defending Texas clients since 1993. Firm founder Attorney Jeffrey Grass not only served as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG) before going into private practice, but he was also named one of the Top 100 Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and continues to maintain an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass and work with our legal team to increase your chances of seeing a positive case resolution. Contact to discuss your case in a fully confidential and free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.
Common Questions Following a Domestic Violence Arrest
Domestic violence can encompass a range of different situations and acts. The heightened emotions surrounding an alleged domestic violence incident can make this case especially challenging for you, the client. The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass has compiled some an overview of some of the most common questions and concerns that we address with clients who are facing a charge of domestic violence in Dallas or the surrounding area.
What is the Law for Domestic Violence in Dallas County and the state of Texas?
Unlike many other states, Texas does not have a specific domestic violence charge. So, domestic violence cases are typically pursued as an assault-related charge or another violent crimes charge.
Dallas prosecutors do have the ability to seek harsher penalties in cases of assault that involve a partner, spouse, a fellow member of the household or a girlfriend/boyfriend.
How Does Texas Define Assault?
Texas law allows for three different scenarios that can be considered assault, including the following:
intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person;
intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury; or
intentionally or knowingly initiating physical contact with another person when there is reasonable cause to believe that the contact will be viewed as offensive and unwelcome.
An act of assault may be considered aggravated if serious bodily injury results or if the alleged act included the use or brandishing of a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault in Texas carries a far more serious penalty, especially for those with a prior history of violent crimes.
Prosecutors may pursue assault as a misdemeanor or a felony, which can result in fines and prison time. Domestic violence assaults tend to involve a harsher sentence than a case involving a total stranger.
What is a Zero-Tolerance Domestic Violence Policy?
In Texas, the law allows police to arrest someone for domestic assault if the officer “has probable cause to believe have committed an assault resulting in bodily injury to a member of the person’s family or household.” This bodily injury can include “physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.” Therefore, any visible mark, such as a red mark, cut or a bruise can serve as sufficient grounds for arrest.
In cases where there is evidence of some form of assault as the result of a domestic disturbance, the zero-tolerance policy calls for the authorities to take at least one person into custody so as to prevent additional injury to the victim or an escalation of violence once the authorities leave the scene.
Texas law also allows a judge to order a suspect to remain in police custody for as long as four hours after they are eligible for release on bail. An individual may, therefore, remain in custody for a longer period of time if a judge suspects that the violence may resume.
The downside of this zero-tolerance policy is that it can lead to the arrest of individuals who may not have otherwise been taken into custody. This makes it especially important to consult an experienced Dallas domestic violence lawyer to discuss your case.
What if the Domestic Violence Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?
In domestic violence cases, many victims are compelled to drop the charges because they are intimidated or fearful of the suspect.
As a result, many Dallas prosecutors opt for a “no drop policy” on all domestic violence cases. This means that a domestic violence case may be prosecuted, even if the victim files an affidavit of non-prosecution and/or indicates they no longer wish to press charges.
This aggressive stance toward domestic violence cases means you need a violent crimes defense lawyer who has the experience and strategies required to maximize your chances of a positive case resolution.
Trust Your Defense to a Dallas County Domestic Violence Lawyer
Dallas natives who are arrested on domestic assault charges may be fearful, embarrassed and uncertain of what to expect. In many cases, our clients have never been arrested before; these criminal charges represent their first involvement with the justice system – a fact that can make the experience even more distressing.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we can call upon over 20 years of criminal defense experience, combined with the strategies, skills, and resources required to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome to your case.
We can draw upon many approaches to defend you and your freedom, from interviewing family members, friends, neighbors, and others who can help paint a picture of the dynamics in your home, to consulting medical specialists and other professionals who are capable of serving as expert witnesses in your case. In many cases, if there is a history of domestic violence, we may defend your alleged actions by arguing that it was an act of self-defense.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding your arrest for domestic violence, Dallas lawyers with the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass are here to assist. Contact our legal team to arrange a confidential and free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.