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Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Texas

Domestic violence, also known as family violence, is defined in Texas to include physical assault, sexual assault and threats of violence against a family member or member of the household, as well as violence against someone with whom you had a dating relationship—even if that relationship has already ended. Domestic violence can occur between spouses, former spouses, parents and children, siblings and other family members.

Domestic violence is a serious crime in Texas, and the penalties can be severe. Continuous violence against the family — defined as two or more domestic assaults committed within 12 months — constitutes a third-degree felony and carries penalties of two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If you are accused of domestic violence, there are a number of defenses that you may be able to raise. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Falsity of allegations — Sometimes, allegations of domestic violence are untrue or exaggerated. This may be due to the complaining party’s anger, desire for revenge or attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute.
  • Accident — Harm can result from a family member or household member falling, mishandling tools or utensils, or engaging in other nonviolent conduct that got out of hand, through no fault of yours.
  • Mutual Combat – Allegations arising from violent arguments where both parties engage in some physical aggression.
  • Lack of intent — A domestic violence conviction requires that the defendant acted intentionally or knowingly. To raise the defense of lack of intent, you must show that your actions could not reasonably be interpreted as being meant to cause harm.
  • Self-defense — You may be able to show you used force against a family member or household member to protect yourself if you reasonably believed that you were in immediate danger of harm.
  • Defense of another person — You may have used force against a family member or household member to protect someone else you believed was in immediate danger of harm. A common example is a parent taking action to protect a child.
  • Mental health issues — You may be able to assert that mental health issues prevented you from forming the necessary intent or mental state to commit the crime. However, this defense can have untoward effects on your spousal and parental rights.

In addition to the defenses mentioned above, there are a number of other factors that may bear on guilt or innocence in a domestic violence case. These include the relationship between the defendant and the victim, any history of domestic violence in the relationship and any mitigating circumstances.

Domestic violence charges can have a significant impact on your life, including your employment, parental rights and housing situation. If you are facing such charges in Texas, you should contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and your legal options.

Tylden Shaeffer, Attorney at Law, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas provides an aggressive defense to allegations of domestic violence that can ruin your reputation and jeopardize your freedom. To schedule a free consultation, call (210) 227-1500 or contact me online today.

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    Mr Shaeffer was amazing with helping my family with an urgent situation during this weekend. His attention to detail and knowledge were incredible. My wife and I were frantic over this situation and Mr Shaeffer was emphatic and patient while simultan...

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    Absolutely amazing and very professional and tentative as well as his secretary she is very polite 1st time needing a lawyer would definitely recommend him. Overall we were very happy with Mr Shaeffer and would diffenithy hire him again.

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    He has been amazing throughout the whole process! Giving me all the information I ask for and has been on top of my case throughout its entirety

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    Mr. Tylden is great to work with. Very knowledgeable. Very helpful. Very accessible. Very professional. I highly recommend him.

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