Domestic violence laws are in place to protect victims from abuse. Unfortunately, they can also be abused through false accusations, especially when there are contentious relationships in the family. False allegations can affect every aspect of a person's life and inflict irreparable damage to their reputation, causing their job security and personal relationships to crumble. A false family violence accusation during a divorce can result in a parent losing child custody, paying extra spousal support and taking care of the accuser’s attorney fees. For these reasons, if you have been falsely accused of any form of domestic violence, it is urgent you enlist the legal guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your future from harsh consequences.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges and Accusations
Domestic violence crimes in Texas are punishable as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4,000
- 3rd Degree Felony: 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- 2nd Degree Felony: 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- 1st Degree Felony: 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
In addition, you may face deferred adjudication and community supervision for a domestic violence charge.
Order of Protection
If your spouse or partner requests an order of protection against you, you may be prohibited from seeing your significant other, as well as your children. Even verbal and psychological abuse are considered forms of domestic violence. If someone alleges you caused them to fear for their safety, an order of protection can be issued against you, resulting in you being:
- Forced to leave your home
- Prohibited from contacting your children
- Prohibited from owning or purchasing a weapon
- Forced to pay compensation to your accuser if they lose money from missed work, medical bills, and other expenses due to the domestic violence allegations
- Unable to get college financial aid
Do not visit your accuser or your children if there is already an order of protection in place. Even if the relationship is reconciled, you can still face legal consequences for making contact.
Defenses to False Domestic Violence Claims
Generally speaking, people charged with family violence may defend themselves in two ways: by (1) showing that the prosecution has not proved its case or (2) offering a defense to justify their actions. Possible ways to contest false domestic violence claims include:
- Self-defense: If you used a necessary amount of force to protect yourself from an immediate threat of harm, you may not be found guilty of domestic violence. You must prove you were not the aggressor and that you only used enough force to defend yourself.
- Inconsistencies: In many cases, false accusers change their story or make conflicting statements. Exposing these lies can help you.
- No traumatic condition: If there are no injuries reported or treated, you have the chance of not being convicted of domestic violence.
At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, our Houston domestic violence lawyers have been defending the rights of individuals accused of domestic violence and other violent crimes in Texas for years. Led by Attorney Jed Silverman – one of only 10% of attorneys in the state designated as a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist– our team has the proven record of past success to maximize your chances of getting through this frightening time with your dignity and freedom intact.
Call (713) 597-2221 or contact us online to speak directly with a professional.