Bedford Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence, referred to as family violence in Texas, can take many forms. Depending on the nature of the offense, those convicted of family violence could face up to a year or more in jail and may have to pay hefty fines. In some cases, a conviction could strip you of certain constitutional rights, and the whole ordeal can greatly impact your life and future.
If you were arrested or have a protective order against you because of family violence in Bedford, contact a Bedford domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.
An attorney from Fulgham Law Firm can review your case and advise you of your rights and options. We can also help you mount an effective defense against the charges and work to mitigate the potential penalties you may face. Contact us today for a free case review.
Why Choose Fulgham Law Firm for Help Defending Against Bedford Family Violence Charges
Our team of Texas criminal defense attorneys has more than 70 years of criminal law experience, and we have successfully handled more than 300 criminal trials. Four of our attorneys are former criminal prosecutors, so we have invaluable insight into Texas’s criminal justice system from both sides.
This helps us devise effective defense strategies for our clients, and we have achieved a long record of dismissals, acquittals, and reductions of charges.
At Fulgham Law Firm, we understand what’s at stake for our clients, and we have gained reputations as fierce and tenacious trial lawyers who get results. You can rely on us to take an active interest in your case and deliver the personalized attention you deserve to help increase your chances of getting the most favorable outcome possible.
What Is Domestic Violence in Texas?
Texas law defines domestic violence, or family violence, broadly to include any act by one family or household member against another that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm.
It is a serious issue that can involve physical violence, emotional abuse, economic control, and other forms of coercive behavior. It can also include sexual assault or abuse.
Committing acts of domestic violence can result in criminal charges as well as protective orders being taken out against the alleged offender.
What Relationships Do Texas Family Violence Laws Cover?
Texas family violence laws cover a range of relationships, and family violence is broadly defined to encompass various types of abusive behavior within certain familial or household relationships. In Texas, family violence laws apply to individuals who are considered family or household members.
Here are some of the relationships covered under Texas family violence laws:
- Spouses: Current and former spouses are covered by family violence laws in Texas. This includes individuals who are legally married or who were previously married.
- Parents and Children: Family violence laws apply to abusive behavior between parents and their children, whether the children are minors or adults.
- Siblings: Abusive conduct between siblings falls under the scope of family violence laws.
- Dating Relationships: Texas recognizes that family violence can occur in dating relationships. Therefore, individuals who are or were in a dating relationship, whether or not they live together, may be protected by family violence laws.
- Household Members: The term “family” in family violence laws is not limited strictly to blood relatives or individuals connected by marriage. It can also include individuals who live together in the same household, even if they are not related by blood or marriage.
- Roommates: Individuals living together as roommates may be covered by family violence laws if they share a household and one engages in abusive behavior toward the other.
If you face family violence charges or are the subject of a family violence protection order in Bedford, you need to contact the domestic violence defense attorneys at Fulgham Law Firm right away.
What Are the Different Types of Family Violence Charges in Texas?
In Texas, family violence charges encompass various criminal offenses involving acts of violence or threats of violence committed against family or household members. Law enforcement and child and family welfare agencies take allegations of family violence seriously, and the state has specific laws to address different types of family violence.
Here are some common family violence charges in Texas:
- Assault: Assault charges may be filed when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, including family or household members. Assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense. A conviction of a Class A misdemeanor could mean up to a year in prison and fines up to $4,000.
- Aggravated Assault: Aggravated assault charges involve causing serious bodily injury or using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault. Aggravated assault is a more serious offense and is typically charged as a felony. A conviction of a felony domestic assault charge could result in a prison sentence from five to 99 years.
- Continuous Violence Against the Family: This charge may be applicable when an individual commits two or more acts of family violence within a 12-month period. Continuous violence against the family is a felony offense.
Additionally, other offenses can fall under domestic or family violence in Texas.
- Child Abuse: Child abuse charges may be filed when a family or household member commits acts of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse against a child.
- Stalking: Stalking charges may be brought against an individual who engages in a course of conduct directed at a family or household member, causing fear or emotional distress. Stalking is often considered a form of family violence.
- Violation of Protective Order: If a court issues a protective order to prevent an individual from engaging in family violence and that order is violated, the person may face charges for violating the protective order.
- Interference with an Emergency Call: This charge may be filed when an individual prevents or interferes with the ability of a family or household member to make an emergency call for assistance, such as contacting law enforcement during a domestic violence incident.
- Criminal Trespass: Criminal trespass charges may be applicable if an individual enters the property of a family or household member without permission and with the intent to commit a family violence offense.
Some other important considerations to keep in mind regarding family violence charges in Texas:
- A victim may file a domestic violence report whether you made physical contact or not.
- Even with no physical contact, you could still receive a Class C misdemeanor charge for a first-time offense.
- A first-time offense for choking could result in a third-degree felony charge, with a prison sentence of between two and 10 years.
- Any prior arrests or convictions of domestic violence may incur more serious felony charges and penalties.
If you or someone you know is facing family violence charges in Bedford, you must seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Are Some Possible Defenses for Domestic Violence in Texas?
Defending against domestic violence charges in Texas involves careful examination of the specific circumstances surrounding the allegations. It’s important to note that the appropriateness of defenses can depend on the unique details of each case.
Here are some possible defenses to domestic violence charges in Texas:
- Self-Defense: If the accused can show that they reasonably believed the use of force was necessary to protect themselves from imminent harm, they may argue self-defense. This defense is based on the idea that the accused acted to prevent harm to themselves.
- Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, the defense of others involves the use of force to protect another person from imminent harm. The accused must show that they reasonably believed the use of force was necessary to protect the other person.
- False Accusations: The accused may assert that the allegations are false and that the accuser made up the charges for various reasons, such as revenge, anger, or manipulation.
- Lack of Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence is a common defense strategy. This may involve questioning the reliability of witness testimony, the credibility of the alleged victim, or the admissibility of certain evidence.
- Accidental Injury: In some cases, the accused may argue that any injuries suffered by the alleged victim were the result of an accident rather than intentional harm.
- Consent: If the alleged victim consented to the conduct that is the basis for the charges, the accused may argue that the actions were consensual and not criminal.
- Mistaken Identity: In situations where there may be confusion about the identity of the alleged perpetrator, a defense of mistaken identity may be raised.
- Legal Justification: The accused may argue that their actions were legally justified under certain circumstances, such as using force to prevent a crime or to protect property.
In some cases, the alleged victim may later recant their initial statements. While recantation may not always be effective as a defense, it can create doubt about the credibility of the accusations.
Consult a qualified criminal defense attorney to assess the specifics of your case and determine the most appropriate defense strategy. Domestic violence cases can be complex, and an experienced criminal defense attorney from Fulgham Law Firm can provide guidance, build a strong defense, and work to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
Family Violence and Protective Orders in Texas
Whether you ever face charges of family violence in Bedford, your accuser could petition for a protective order against you. Protective orders, also known as restraining orders or orders of protection, are legal tools designed to protect victims of family violence.
These orders are issued by a court and typically contain provisions restricting the alleged abuser’s behavior and contact with the victim.
Types of Protective Orders
In Texas, there are different types of protective orders, including Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs), Temporary Ex Parte Orders, and General Protective Orders.
These orders may vary in duration and specific provisions.
- Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): EPOs are short-term orders that law enforcement can request on behalf of a victim at the scene of a domestic violence incident. They are typically valid for a few days.
- Temporary Ex Parte Orders: Temporary orders can be requested by the victim without the alleged abuser present. They provide protection until a full hearing can be conducted.
- General Protective Orders: General protective orders are issued after a court hearing where both parties have an opportunity to present their case. These orders can have longer durations and may include more detailed provisions.
Duration of Protective Orders
Protective orders in Texas can have varying durations, ranging from a few days for emergency orders to longer periods for general protective orders. The duration often depends on the circumstances of the case and the court’s discretion.
Violation of Protective Orders
Violating a protective order is a serious offense in Texas and can result in criminal charges. Law enforcement can take immediate action if they have a reasonable belief that a protective order has been violated.
In some cases, protective orders may include provisions requiring the alleged abuser to surrender any firearms they possess.
If someone took out a protective order on you, or you believe they might, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Contact an Experienced Bedford Family Violence Defense Attorney Today
If you’re facing family violence charges or have had a restraining order against you for domestic violence in Bedford, you need an experienced and dedicated attorney by your side. The experienced Bedford criminal defense attorneys at Fulgham Law Firm have extensive experience defending clients against domestic violence charges and protection orders.
You don’t have to navigate the complex legal process alone, and you should contact us today at (817) 809-3039 for your free and confidential consultation. We’re here to protect your rights and interests, tell your side of the story, and help you achieve the positive results you seek.