There are few people who can trigger an emotional response like a loved one. In fact, those who are closest to us often have the power to elicit the most powerful emotional reactions. Unfortunately, this can lead to a situation where you lose control, ultimately resulting in a domestic violence incident.
In other cases, an individual may level domestic violence allegations against a loved one in a fit of anger or hurt. This is another scenario that can lead to an arrest for domestic assault.
Whatever the case, you may be left feeling embarrassed, angry, hurt and worried for your future and your freedom. Domestic assault cases can carry some very serious penalties, especially if you have a prior conviction on your record.
It’s important to turn to an experienced Texas domestic violence lawyer who can defend you, your freedom and your future. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our legal team represents individuals accused of domestic assault and other violent crimes throughout Dallas County, Collin County, Denton County and beyond.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a domestic violence-related charge, it’s important to take action immediately to maximize your chances of seeing a positive outcome. Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass to discuss your case in a fully confidential, no-cost consultation session. Call (972) 422-9999.
Common Questions Concerning Domestic Violence Charges in Collin County
According to the Texas Family Code § 71.004, domestic violence refers to “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.”
This definition can leave many confused and it’s also common to have questions about the possible penalties. So the legal team here at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass has compiled information on some of the most common questions and concerns that we discuss with clients like you.
What is the Definition of Domestic Violence in Texas?
Texas does not have a specific charge for domestic assault. Therefore, a domestic incident may simply be prosecuted as one of the many forms of assault.
Notably, though, there are certain violent crimes whereby the prosecutor can pursue more serious penalties if the victim is a spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, a live-in partner or another member of the household.
In Texas law, there are three methods for committing assault, including:
intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person;
intentionally or knowingly threatening another 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 assault charge could be upgraded to an aggravated assault charge if the act causes serious bodily injury to another person or if the suspect used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
The precise penalty will vary depending upon the exact charge that is pursued. Assault charges can range from a misdemeanor to a more serious felony with a penalty of prison time and hefty fines. A major factor in determining the seriousness of the charge is whether the defendant has prior convictions.
Generally, domestic violence cases are punished more harshly than what may be imposed if the exact same crime committed against a stranger.
What Does a Zero-Tolerance Domestic Violence Policy Mean in Collin County?
Texas law allows for the arrest of “persons who the peace officer has probable cause to believe have committed an assault resulting in bodily injury to a member of the person’s family or household.”
Bodily injury refers to “physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.” This could refer to a bruise, cut or even red marks from a harsh grab or slap.
With this in mind, many police departments have implemented a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence cases. As a result of these policies, once a domestic disturbance incident is reported to the authorities, police will take at least one person into custody if there is any evidence to support claims of a domestic incident.
These zero-tolerance domestic disturbance policies are intended to remove one of the involved parties from the equation, thereby eliminating the risk of a situation where the domestic violence resumes or escalates once police leave.
Unfortunately, this type of policy can result in a situation where the authorities arrest someone, despite an absence of sufficient evidence to prosecute the case. For this reason, it is especially important to consult a lawyer after being arrested for a domestic violence incident.
Notably, there is also a provision in Texas law that allows the judge to order a defendant to remain in custody for up to four hours after they have made bail in the event that there is reason to believe that the violence may resume upon their immediate release.
Can the Victim Drop the Charges?
Due to the nature of domestic violence cases, where a victim may be compelled to drop the charges out of fear or intimidation, Collin County prosecutors typically take a “no drop policy” toward domestic violence cases.
This means that the state will typically pursue the case, even if the victim is no longer in favor of proceeding and/or files an affidavit of non-prosecution. This is another reason why it’s so important to trust your case to an experienced defense lawyer.
Trust Your Legal Defense to a Top Domestic Assault Lawyer
Domestic violence charges can leave you feeling ashamed, embarrassed and frightened. For some, a domestic assault arrest represents their first-ever involvement with the criminal justice system, which can make the situation even more stressful.
But when you turn to an experienced domestic violence lawyer to handle your legal defense, you can move forward with confidence knowing that you have a seasoned professional overseeing your case.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we leverage a wide range of resources to build your case. We may also speak with family members, friends, neighbors and other relatives to obtain a better understanding of the dynamics in your home. Additionally, we can also consult medical specialists and other professionals who can offer expert testimony in your case. In situations where there is a history of domestic violence and you were acting in self-defense, we can build a strong defense by locating police reports, 911 calls and other evidence that shows you were fearful for your life and acting out of self-defense.
Every case has its own unique facts and merits, so every defense strategy is crafted around the facts and evidence in your case, your circumstances, and your priorities and goals for the future.
Our firm was established by an attorney who has been defending Texas clients since 1993. Firm founder Attorney Jeffrey Grass proudly served as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG), and he was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He also maintains an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
If you or a loved one are accused of domestic violence in Collin County, reach out to the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass. Our legal team is here to provide you with a free, fully confidential consultation. Call (972) 422-9999.
Mr.Grass is the best attorney there is hands down. He cares about his clients and their families. My favorite thing about Mr.Grass is that he is honest - and upfront.He does not tell lies and fights tooth and nail to free his clients.He defended my mother on a major case and I am glad to say she is free. Mr.Grass fought for her freedom and won.