Dallas Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
True domestic violence is a serious problem. Unfortunately, so are false accusations and unjustified arrests. Police are now trained to almost always arrest someone when they get called out on a domestic disturbance. This can be the case even when the “victim” does not wish to prosecute. Once the police file a case and the state picks up the charge, things can get out of hand very fast without a knowledgeable Dallas domestic violence lawyer in your corner. Domestic violence cases carry serious life-changing penalties such as lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent record.
Dallas Domestic Violence Lawyer
Assault Family Violence (Texas Penal Code § 22.01).
A person commits assault family violence if they assault a person they are dating or who is in their family or household. Assault is intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury. The punishment for assault family violence depends on whether it is a first offense or repeated conduct. For more information about Assault Family Violence charges in Dallas, see our Assault Family Violence page.
Assault Family Violence Enhanced (Texas Penal Code § 22.01).
A person commits assault family violence enhanced if they commit family violence and have a previous record of family violence. For more information about Assault Family Violence Enhanced charges in Dallas, see our Assault Family Violence Enhanced page.
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (Texas Penal Code § 22.02).
A person commits aggravated assault family violence if they commit family violence with a deadly weapon or cause serious bodily injury. A deadly weapon can either be used or exhibited during the assault. For more information about Aggravated Assault Family Violence, see our Aggravated Assault Family Violence page.
Assault Family Violence Impeding Breathing or Circulation (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(2)(B)).
Impeding breathing or circulation cases require intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or blood flow. These cases commonly involve choking or covering the alleged victim’s mouth. For more information, see our Assault Family Violence Impeding Breathing or Circulation page.
Injury to a Child (Texas Penal Code § 22.04).
A person commits injury to a child if they cause bodily injury or serious bodily injury to a child. The act causing bodily injury must be intentional, knowing, or reckless to be criminal. An act causing serious bodily injury can be illegal if you were criminally negligent.
Dallas Domestic Violence Lawyer: Resources and Information
See Dallas domestic violence lawyer Mike Howard’s criminal defense resource center for more information. This includes basic rights in a criminal case, definitions of intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, and criminal negligence. It also includes defenses to prosecution and more.
Defending Domestic Violence Charges in Dallas
Domestic violence offense punishments depend on the facts of the case. For example, courts consider issues like the person’s record, the injury, and the alleged victim’s input.
- Class C Misdemeanor Domestic Assault – up to a $500 fine but no jail time. For example, Assault Contact/Family Violence.
- Class A Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence – up to 365 days (1 year) in the county jail and up to a $4,000.00 fine.
- Third-Degree Felony Assault Family Violence – 2 to 10 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. For example, assault family violence impeding breathing. Also, assault family violence with a prior finding of family violence.
- Second-Degree Felony Assault Family Violence – 2 to 20 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. For example, aggravated assault family violence.
- First-Degree Felony Domestic Assault – 5 to 99 years or up to life in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. For example, aggravated assault family violence with a deadly weapon that causes serious bodily injury.
Affirmative Finding of Family Violence – the judge can make a finding that family violence occurred in a case. This order prevents you from owning or possessing a firearm. It also makes you ineligible for nondisclosure (record sealing).
Domestic Violence Terms
Domestic violence may be the most commonly used term. However, Texas law uses the term “family violence” more commonly. Below, Dallas domestic violence lawyer Mike Howard explains common family violence terms.
Family Violence covers offenses such as assault family violence and assault impeding breathing or circulation. It can also include injury to a child or sexual assault charges. Family violence includes violence against household members as well as dating violence.
Household Member is a person who resides or has resided in the same home. This includes roommates.
Dating Violence is an act committed against a person with whom you have a dating relationship. The act must be intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. Dating violence can also include threats. However, the threat reasonably place the person in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or sexual assault.
Family Member includes people related by blood or marriage. It also includes former spouses and people who have a child or foster child together.
Dating Relationship is a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing romantic or intimate relationship.
Protective Order is a judge’s order that prevents you from having contact with a person. To grant a protective order, the judge must find that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again. A temporary protective order is for a short period of time. You do not receive notice of a temporary protective order. A full protective order requires a hearing with notice to you.
Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney Mike Howard
The good news is the prosecutor is required to prove a felony charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is the highest burden of proof in our justice system. The court must find you not guilty if the prosecutor cannot rule every possible reasonable doubt. This can be a powerful defense when implemented in your defense by a skilled Dallas domestic violence attorney. In Dallas innocent people can get accused, charged, and convicted domestic violence when they don’t have a Dallas domestic violence attorney fighting for them. I believe in standing up for people and helping them navigate all that comes with being thrown into the criminal justice system.
I focus on my clients as individuals. Taking the time to understand not just the facts of their case, but who they are and what they need is important to me. I know the legal system can be intimidating. Therefore, I explain the process, their legal rights, and their options. Client communication is extremely important to me. My team and I do everything possible to quickly answer questions and return messages.
Willing to Fight
Most importantly, I am willing to fight a case in court. My history of getting great results for clients is something I’m very proud of. When your Dallas domestic violence attorney has a reputation as a skillful domestic violence lawyer who fights for their clients, it makes all the difference in the world.
Our Case Process
Listen & Understand
Fight for Justice
Awards and Accolades
A Proven Track Record
Dallas Domestic Violence Lawyer
J.C. – Assault Impeding Breathing
My client was a world champion professional boxer. He was wrongly accused of brutally beating up an ex-girlfriend. However, the woman had no injuries and looking for a payout. We took the case to trial and exposed her true motives in court. The jury found my client not guilty.
P.M. – Assault Family Violence
An ex-girlfriend was angry that my client had moved on. She set out to ruin his life with a wrongful accusation. We took the case to trial and the jury found my client not guilty.
T.Y. – Assault Family Violence
My client was a dental student who started dating a dental hygenist student. Over time she became controlling and abusive. She wrongfully accused him of family violence and would not back down. We took the case to trial and the jury found my client not guilty.
O.A. – Assault Family Violence
My client was a doctor who had been married 40+ years. His wife suffered from mental health problems. When she had episodes she would become violent and abusive. My client had to call the police during one of these episodes but only wanted her to get help. Unfortunately, when she realized she might be going to jail she falsely accused him of hitting her. The police told my client someone had to go to jail, him or her. Ever the loving husband, my client chose to go to jail. We were able to convince the district attorney to reject the case completely.
J.S. – Assault Family Violence
My client was a lawyer who had an argument with his wife after both had been drinking. He said somethings he later regretted and she overreacted by falsely accusing him of family violence. Even though she immediately regretted it, the police wouldn’t listen to her. We got the case dismissed.
M.P. – Assault Family Violence
My client was living with a controlling girlfriend. One night they got into an argument and he tried to walk away. She wouldn’t stop following him. He went into the bathroom and tried to close the door to clear his head. She called the police and falsely claimed he assaulted her closing the door. We got the case dismissed.
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Disclaimer: the information here is not legal advice. Reading this site does not create an attorney-client relationship with Dallas domestic violence lawyer Mike Howard. If you have a legal problem contact an attorney to get specific legal advice. Nothing on this site is intended to be legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.