Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (i.e. assault) charges are serious and can impact your family and future for years to come. By working with qualified legal counsel, you can ensure that you are heard clearly and objectively, giving you the best chance for a reduction of charges or having them dismissed altogether.

Keeping the Future Bright For Those Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Texas

Relationships between dating partners, spouses, exes, and family members are inherently complex. When disagreements arise, emotions can escalate quickly and cause people to say and do things they may not mean. A moment of rage can alter your life in an instant; you may find yourself facing assault charges for an argument that got out of hand. Like most states, Texas takes domestic violence crimes seriously, imposing strict penalties on these types of offenses. You may be surprised to hear that assault does not always mean physical harm—you could still face charges for threatening someone with only your words. While you may be tempted to explain your way out of assault charges and insist that the incident was merely a misunderstanding, failing to enlist legal counsel may end up making things worse for you. Attorney Keith G. Allen has the experience and skills necessary to defend your rights and advocate for the best possible outcome, given the specifics of your case. 


Understanding Domestic Violence Laws in Texas

While most people are familiar with the term “domestic violence,” there is not a straightforward domestic violence law in Texas. Essentially, the law recognizes two types of domestic violence: Dating violence and domestic violence. 


In Title 4, Section 71.0021 of the Texas Family Code, dating violence is defined as “an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that: is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship and is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear or imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.” 


Under Title 4, Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code, the term domestic violence refers to “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.”


Both of these legal definitions make it possible for a person to face criminal charges for verbally threatening someone, even if they did not cause any physical harm to the alleged victim.


The Criminal Penalties for Misdemeanor and Felony Family Assault

Several factors influence whether you will face a misdemeanor or felony charge. Defendants with no previous convictions may be charged with a misdemeanor, but additional or aggravating factors (i.e., assault with a deadly weapon or assault involving serious bodily injury) can elevate the charges. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in county jail, up to $4,000 in fines, or both. It’s also important to recognize that this type of conviction cannot be sealed, and having it on your criminal record may prevent you from owning a firearm, finding a stable job, securing housing, or obtaining custody of your children.


In some cases, a defendant may face a felony charge for domestic assault. Prosecutors may charge someone with a third-degree felony if they have prior convictions for domestic assault, punishable by two to ten years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and other restrictions on their freedom and future employment and housing options.


Our firm represents clients in cases involving assault, violation of a protective order, terroristic threats, harassment, offensive contact, disorderly conduct, and other crimes relating to domestic violence. No matter what the specifics of your situation may be, we’re here to listen carefully to your concerns and pursue the most strategic path forward to keep your future as bright as possible. 


Helping Those Accused of Violating Protective Orders

In some cases, the court may issue a “no contact” order. This type of order prohibits you from going near the alleged victim or attempting to contact them in any way (i.e., on the phone, over text, via social media, etc.). It’s essential to understand that violating a protective order can have severe and lasting consequences. Even if the protected person reaches out to you or initiates contact, violating the order is considered a criminal offense that can result in your arrest and additional criminal charges. Keep in mind that protective orders also have the power to evict or remove you from a shared residence, regardless of whose name appears on the lease or the deed. If law enforcement has arrested you for violating a protective order, contact our office as soon as possible so we can get to work defending your freedom and future. 


If law enforcement has arrested you for domestic violence in Pearland or Brazoria County, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, right away at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted and experienced criminal defense lawyer.

A domestic violence or assault conviction carries significant penalties.  Give us a call today to help keep your future as bright as possible.

Effective & reliable legal counsel throughout Pearland and Brazoria County.