For a long time, domestic violence was considered to be a crime committed by a man against a woman. Women were routinely treated as the victim in a case of domestic violence; any situation where violence was perpetrated against a man by a woman was routinely dismissed as an act of self-defense against a more powerful adversary. Men who reported that they had been the victim of domestic violence by their wives or girlfriends were usually not taken seriously by law enforcement.
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This attitude has changed in recent years. Law enforcement is realizing that women can commit domestic violence just like men. Studies have shown that men can be the victims of domestic violence as well as women. In 2018, 32 men in Texas were killed by their intimate partners. According to another study, 26.8% of males reported that they have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. There is also a high percentage of domestic violence among lesbian couples as well.
Increasingly, the same standards used to arrest and charge men for assault family violence are being applied in cases where the alleged abuser is a woman. As a result, more and more women in Houston and Harris County are being arrested and charged with domestic violence against their spouses, significant others, same-sex partner, or dating partner.
Being Found Guilty of Domestic Violence in Texas Could Have Severe Consequences
Depending on the circumstances, a woman charged with domestic violence in Houston could face misdemeanor or felony charges. A guilty verdict may mean more than just jail time and fines; it will be on their permanent record and could be used against them when applying for a job, looking for housing, selecting a school, or joining the military. They also risk losing custody of their children.
If you’re a woman and you’ve been arrested for domestic violence in Houston or Harris County, it’s important to speak to a Houston domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the state’s case against you and determine ways to refute the evidence and cast doubt on the state’s case.
Possible defenses for domestic violence charges in Texas include:
- You are innocent and didn’t commit the alleged assault.
- The person(s) accusing you of domestic violence are lying.
- The incident was an accident.
- You were acting in self-defense.
- The police violated your civil rights during the arrest.
Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence Charges
What does “continuous family violence” mean in Texas?
In Texas, “continuous family violence” is defined as two or more acts of violence committed against a family member or household member. These charges do not have to involve allegations from the same family member and do not have to result in conviction.
How can a Houston domestic violence conviction affect child custody?
In custody battles, domestic violence is always a factor when considering primary custody and visitation. Under Texas law, the court is prohibited from granting a joint conservatorship if domestic violence exists between the parents or a child.
When determining whether or not a parent may have full or partial custody, the court will consider factors such as the impact of the custody arrangement on the child’s emotional and physical health, how custody arrangements would protect the child, and whether or not visitation should be supervised.
Can I return home after domestic violence charge in Houston?
Generally after an arrest for suspected domestic violence in Texas, an “emergency protective order” is usually issued after charges are made in arraignment. Under this order, you may:
– Be evicted from your home for 60 or more days.
– Be prohibited from possessing any firearms or weapons.
– Be prohibited from threatening contact with anyone protected by the order.
– Be restricted in your ability to go near the residence, job or school of those protected by the order.
Get Help with Domestic Violence Charges in Harris County
Being charged with domestic violence is not the same as being convicted of domestic violence. If you’re a woman who’s been charged with domestic violence it’s important to act quickly to protect your rights.
No matter how bad the legal situation seems, there’s always hope. Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a former County D.A. turned Houston domestic violence lawyer who has represented many clients charged with domestic violence, assault, and similar crimes in Houston and surrounding communities. In many instances, Lisa’s skillful representation has resulted in the charges against her clients being either dropped or reduced.
Let Lisa put her vast legal knowledge and experience to work defending you. Contact the law offices of Lisa Shapiro to discuss your domestic violence charges.