Domestic violence dates back to prehistoric age. Nowadays, the term domestic violence is not limited to beating wife; rather it covers any offense committed against a family member. For this reason, it is better to say ‘family violence’. Due to increasing social awareness and better communication, law enforcing department is now stricter than ever. If you are referring to domestic violence Houston, their bar association is giving 24-hour service from a hotline. So, it is very easy to get yourself arrested due to silly family matters. Again, proving guilty of domestic violence may have serious consequences that may haunt you the rest of your life. For instance, you may never use a gun, or get a good job.
The spectrum of domestic violence has been stated in Texas penal code §22.01. In brief, causing bodily injury or threatening to do such to a person’s current or former spouse or a family member is regarded as family violence. The nature of assault can be of several types, including bodily injury, aggravated assault, sexual assault, strangulation, stalking, and even offensive touch. Domestic violence cases are not that simple as many people think. Not only a conviction results in serious punishment, but it also has long-term consequences on career and social relationships. For instance, a protective order following a conviction may remove you from your home, or restrict contact with family members that will likely cause a psychological breakdown. An injury which is considered as a Class A misdemeanor may turn into a third-degree felony if the accused has a past history of domestic violence. These cases are invariably prosecuted and tried even the victim does not cooperate.
Can the plaintiff simply drop the charges?
The answer is, no. Once your spouse or family member files a case of domestic violence, the state assumes the role of the plaintiff. The victim has really nothing to do when it comes to a dismissal of the charge because in every piece of paper you will see your name vs. The State of Texas. So even you make a mutual understanding with the victim and convince him or her to drop the case, he or she will not be able to do such. The court suspects that such dismissal requests are due to pressure by the accused or financial problems.
Some people call the police just because they are upset, unhappy in conjugal life, or intoxicated, and they temporarily try to dominate over their counterpart. They lie and get a person arrested without knowing the system properly. As a result, after getting cool and realizing fault, they come to drop the charges. But already they have gone to a point of no return. The government makes a reverse turn and accuses the victim of lying. The only option remains for the accused- face the trail.
Are you helpless at all?
No, you have your own ways out. As you are sure to face the trial, prepare that way. Most of the cases, the story presented by the victim is either false or exaggerated. It is important to preserve the evidence that might be useful in proving your innocence. One important step can be writing down everything that happened during the incident. If the trial takes place several months later, this written record will help to recall the events clearly and make a good preparation for defense. Try to get statements from individuals who were present at the scene. This witness statement is very important at the trial to prove your innocence. It is wise to contact those witnesses and obtain a statement in the form of audio/video record as soon as possible.
Proving that the victim was intoxicated during the event can be a huge advantage. You can take help of CC cameras, credit card receipts, or photo/video taken with a phone in this regard. The allegation of an intoxicated victim will certainly be taken lightly by the jury. Photographs of the victim taken before and after the event may also have a role. It can prove a fabricated wound or even the aggressive behavior of the alleged victim.
Getting out of a domestic violence in Texas case can be difficult but not impossible. Consult a criminal defense lawyer having a good reputation and it is quite possible that you will be able to keep your record clean.