Domestic Violence FAQs
What is Dating Violence?
This is a violent act against a person with whom you have a dating relationship or people who, at some point, had a romantic or intimate relationship. The act must be intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. Dating violence can also include threats but must reasonably place the person in fear of imminent danger.
Can ‘Victims’ Drop the Charges in a Domestic Violence Case?
No. The state prosecutes cases, not victims. Once domestic violence charges are filed, the alleged victim cannot have the charges dropped. The prosecutor can proceed even if the alleged victim does not wish to proceed. The prosecutor can, however, consider the victim’s wishes. This is tricky and requires an experienced domestic violence lawyer to help you navigate.
What’s a Protective Order?
A protective order, or “restraining order,” is a legal court order to protect someone after being harmed. In domestic violence cases, it can include various levels of protection, like prohibiting contact, mandating a certain distance from the victim, or requiring the respondent to vacate a shared residence.
If the protective order is violated, there can be more charges and harsh penalties. A temporary protective order lasts only a short period. You do not receive notice when a temporary protective order is brought against you. A full protective order requires a hearing and does require notice to be given to you.
Can I Be Charged with Domestic Violence If There Were No Injuries?
Yes. Bodily injury doesn’t require bruises or marks, only that the victim says they felt pain. Some non-physical acts, like stalking or harassment, can be considered forms of domestic violence.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Affect Employment or Child Custody?
A domestic violence conviction can impact current and future employment and child custody decisions. Domestic violence convictions and affirmative findings can lead to job loss or difficulty finding employment, especially in fields that require background checks or involve working with vulnerable populations. Also, if a parent is found to have committed domestic violence within two years of seeking custody, they may be denied or have restrictions placed on visitations.
Can Domestic Violence Be Expunged in TX?
Domestic violence convictions in Texas, and even guilty or no contest pleas, typically cannot be removed. Generally, two situations can lead to your charge being removed from your record. If your case was dismissed or acquitted, you may qualify to have the record expunged.
If your case ended upon successful completion of deferred adjudication, you may or may not be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. As laws and individual circumstances vary, you should consult an attorney with considerable domestic violence experience.
Domestic Violence Resources &Further Reading
Please visit our criminal defense resource center for more information about your rights and the legal process regarding domestic violence and other criminal charges.
Related Articles on Domestic Violence in Dallas
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges
While every domestic violence case is as unique as the people involved, several defense strategies can prove effective. These may include showing a lack of proof, arguing self-defense or defense of others, challenging the credibility of the victim or witnesses, or presenting an affidavit of non-prosecution. By utilizing these defenses and other tactics, you may be able to secure a charge reduction, a complete dismissal, or prove your innocence.
The good news in your domestic violence case is that the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is the highest burden of proof in our justice system, and this can be a powerful defense when implemented by a skilled Dallas domestic violence attorney.
Our Promise to Every Client:
- A clear explanation of your case and your options – We take the time to get to know you and what you need to achieve in a domestic violence case.
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