Are you facing domestic violence allegations and criminal charges in Collin County? The state of Texas takes domestic violence charges very seriously. In addition to a protective order that may be filed against you before you can even defend yourself, you can face significant jail time. You may be forced to leave your home and even have your rights limited.
Even a misdemeanor domestic assault conviction can have life-changing consequences. At the Edgett Law Firm, we are here to give you the vigorous legal defense you deserve. Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a Collin County domestic violence defense lawyer today.
How a Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help When You Are Charged with Domestic Violence
Facing a domestic violence arrest can be frightening, and you may feel hopeless, especially when the allegations are completely untrue and happen during a difficult time in a relationship. Under Texas law, you can face severe penalties if convicted, such as a lengthy jail sentence, large fines, and probation. You can even be forced to move out of your home if a family or household member obtains a protective order – even without an arrest or conviction.
One in 10 adults reports being falsely accused of domestic violence or child abuse, according to a survey by Stop Abuse and Violent Environments (SAFE). 70% of false accusers are female, and many of these allegations happen during infidelity, divorce, and child custody issues.
When you face the potential loss of your freedom and rights, it’s crucial to seek counsel from an experienced Collin County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Edgett Law Firm has represented Collin County residents accused of domestic violence for over a decade. We have successfully handled more than 5,000 cases with a sterling reputation.
Your domestic violence defense lawyer in Collin County will act as your advocate and aggressively defend you against the charges you are facing.
Count on the Edgett Law Firm to:
- Perform an in-depth investigation of your case
- Look for weaknesses or flaws in the prosecution’s case
- Analyze the petitioner’s version of events for inconsistencies
- Gather evidence to strengthen your defense
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction or dismissal of your charges or a plea bargain
- Represent you in court
Do not face domestic violence charges alone. Contact the Edgett Law Firm today to schedule a free case review with an aggressive Collin County domestic assault defense lawyer to begin building the defense you deserve.
Domestic Violence Charges in Collin County
Under Texas law, any violent act is considered domestic violence when it is committed against a household member, family member, romantic partner, or someone the offender has or is currently dating. This means that several forms of violent offenses can be classified as domestic violence with harsher penalties.
In addition to the specific forms of domestic assault below, offenses such as unlawful confinement, kidnapping, stalking, sexual assault, violating a protective order can all be domestic violence offenses.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, domestic assault is knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly:
- Causing bodily injury,
- Threatening with imminent bodily harm, or
- Causing physical conduct the offender knows or should know the other person will find provocative or offensive
You may be charged with domestic assault for committing any of these acts against a current or former dating partner, family member, or household member. This is a Class A misdemeanor that becomes a third-degree felony with any prior convictions for domestic violence.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
If domestic violence causes serious bodily harm to a victim or a deadly weapon is used to cause harm or threaten harm, the charge is upgraded to aggravated domestic assault. Serious bodily injury can refer to anything from a fracture or head injury to disfigurement. Deadly weapons include not only firearms and knives but baseball bats and any object that can cause death.
Aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony that is upgraded to a first-degree felony if a deadly weapon causes serious bodily injury.
Continuous Violence Against the Family
This charge can be brought against a defendant who has two or more domestic assault arrests or convictions within two months. It is a third-degree felony.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Collin County?
Texas law takes domestic violence very seriously with severe penalties for conviction. Domestic violence may be a Class A misdemeanor or a felony depending on the offender’s prior criminal record and the circumstances.
- Domestic assault, Class A misdemeanor: up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines
- Aggravated domestic assault, third-degree felony: two to ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Continuous violence against the family, second-degree felony: 2-20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree felony: 5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
If convicted you may face additional penalties such as counseling, community service, and restitution. The conviction will remain on your criminal record which can impact personal relationships, strip some of your legal rights such as gun ownership, and make it difficult to get a job.
Given these harsh penalties, it’s important to consult with a Collin County domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Protective Orders and Domestic Violence
When you are accused of domestic violence, you may have a protective order filed against you. There are three types of protective orders in Texas:
- Temporary or ex-parte protective orders are filed based on allegations and some evidence of domestic violence. You do not need to be present for this type of order to be filed against you.
- Permanent protective orders require a hearing which you have the right to attend to defend yourself against the allegations. A permanent protective order lasts up to 2 years.
- Emergency protective orders are filed in criminal court, not family court. This type of protective order may be filed against you if you are arrested for domestic violence.
A protective order can order you to stop any contact with the accuser and maintain a certain distance from their person, workplace, and school. A protective order can even force you to move if you share a home with the accuser.
Alternatives to Jail for Domestic Violence
A domestic violence conviction can result in up to one year in jail for a misdemeanor or up to life in prison for a first-degree felony. Depending on the charge and the defendant’s criminal history, alternatives to jail may be available.
The court can grant community supervision or probation instead of jail. If so, it lasts 2-10 years for a felony or up to 2 years for a misdemeanor. Sometimes jail time is required before probation: up to 30 days for a misdemeanor and up to 180 days for a felony.
If a defendant pleads guilty, deferred adjudication may be available. This is an option for a first-time domestic assault offender but not in cases involving aggravated domestic assault.
Deferred adjudication involves postponing sentencing for a period of time. If the offender complies with the terms of probation and is not arrested for any new offense, the offender can be discharged. However, the arrest, deferred adjudication, and dismissal remain on the offender’s criminal record.
Defending Allegations of Domestic Violence in Collin County, TX
Just because you’ve been accused of an act of domestic violence doesn’t mean you’ll be charged with a crime. And, a criminal charge doesn’t mean that you’ll be convicted. You have the opportunity to defend yourself, and you must take advantage of that if you want to protect your future.
Common defenses to criminal domestic violence charges include:
- False allegations of family violence
- Self-defense or defense of another
- Duress or coercion
- Lack of direct or indirect evidence to support the charges
- Violations of your Constitutional rights – such as an unlawful arrest or unreasonable search and seizure.
Our Collin County criminal defense attorneys will raise any argument that might offer reasonable doubt or undermine the state’s case against you.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Collin County Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Have you been arrested for domestic violence? Has a protective order been filed against you? You do not have to face this potentially life-changing criminal offense alone. At the Edgett Law Firm, we have more than a decade of experience representing Collin County residents facing charges of domestic assault.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review with a Collin County domestic violence defense lawyer to discuss your case and how we can help you fight the charges.