San Antonio Domestic Violence Lawyer
DEFENDING AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ALLEGATIONS IN SAN ANTONIO AREA
One minute, you might be having a simple argument with a significant other or spouse, and the next, you might be in handcuffs in the back of a police car. Many domestic arguments escalate quickly to one person calling 911, and the police generally aim to arrest at least one party to remove them from the conflict. However, many people who are arrested in this situation soon face serious criminal charges of domestic violence.
Domestic violence charges and convictions can impact your life in many different ways. To make matters worse, law enforcement officers and prosecutors aggressively pursue arrests, charges, and convictions against accused domestic abusers. You want an attorney in your corner who will aggressively defend against these charges with the same tenacity as the prosecutor.
The law firm of Patrick L. Hancock defends clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including those related to domestic violence. After an arrest, you should never delay in seeking defense representation from an experienced and respected criminal defense lawyer. Contact our office to discuss your charges and how we can help.
Domestic Violence Charges and Penalties
Domestic violence is a form of assault. Assault means that you acted with violence or threatened violence and put another person in fear of actual or imminent harm. You do not have to hurt someone – or even touch them – to be charged with assault, as credible threats are enough to satisfy this charge. When assault happens against a spouse, former partner, member of your family, or similar relation, it is considered to be domestic violence or family violence.
“Simple” assault is an assault charge when the prosecutor is not alleging certain aggravating factors. Generally, in simple assault cases, the victim does not sustain any injuries, but experiences offensive (not harmful) contact or the threat of harmful contact. In Texas, simple assault can be a Class C misdemeanor charge, which might mean a fine of $500. However, when assault cases involve special victims, the charges can increase.
If the alleged victim of an assault is a family member or romantic partner, the charge can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction for this charge might include:
- One year in jail
- Up to $4,000 in fines
In addition to the above penalties, a Class A misdemeanor family assault conviction can mean:
- You are banned from owning firearms or ammunition by federal law
- You cannot seal your record of the conviction if you are placed on probation
- If you are convicted of family assault a second time, you can face felony charges and up to ten years in state prison
Assault charges are considered to be “aggravated” when the prosecutor alleges that you exhibited a deadly weapon at the time of the assault and/or intentionally caused serious bodily harm to the victim. Again, an aggravated charge can be escalated if it is considered to be an act of family violence.
The charges for this offense include:
- If the offense involved both with a deadly weapon and causes serious harm, the charge can be a first-degree felony. Possible penalties include five to 99 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Other types of aggravated family assault, aside from the above offense, can be a second-degree felony. This means you can face two to 20 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
Whether you are charged with simple family assault or aggravated family assault, it is critical that you have the right defense to minimize the consequences you face. A domestic violence conviction can also affect issues like child custody, your employment opportunities, and more.
In many cases, an alleged victim of domestic violence will seek a protective order against you. This will be handled in a separate case, though it is still highly important to have a defense attorney fighting against this order. Protective orders can force you to move from your home, keep you from seeing your children, restrict where you can go, and they have other strict terms with which you must comply. Violations of any terms can result in additional criminal charges and penalties.
Hearings for protective orders are different from criminal proceedings for assault. However, our domestic violence lawyer knows how to fight for your rights in both types of cases. It is important to mount an effective defense against a protective order, as this type of court order can negatively impact your life for years to come.
Contact a San Antonio Domestic Violence Attorney for Assistance Right Away
Criminal defense lawyer Patrick L. Hancock knows that not all domestic violence allegations are legitimate, and we have seen many clients who were falsely accused. You should never let a domestic violence conviction ruin your life. Instead, seek assistance from a domestic violence defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and handle every aspect of your case. Call 210-223-8844 or contact us online to learn more about our criminal defense services as soon as possible.