Many domestic assault cases involve family members or intimate partners whose arguments escalate and become physical. Due to the private nature of these altercations, it’s common for domestic assault cases to amount to one person’s word against the other’s. Unfortunately, this means that the alleged victim may try to hide or deny the fact that they became physical first, provoking the other person to act in self-defense. After such an action is taken, the alleged victim can call the police to report an instance of domestic assault, resulting in criminal charges. If you are currently facing domestic assault charges but you know you acted in self-defense, here are some steps you can take to protect your freedom and your future.
1. Understand Your Legal Rights
Texas state law allows residents to take certain actions when they believe their safety is in immediate danger. According to Texas penal code 9.31, “a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.” However, there are conditions in which self-defense is not justified, such as in response to verbal threats alone, or if the attack was provoked. Essentially, if a family member, household member, or current or past dating partner intentionally caused you injury, it may have been within your legal rights to take proportional action to defend yourself. You’ll need to work with your attorney to determine how to best proceed.
2. Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
As soon as you’ve been arrested, you should contact a trusted criminal defense lawyer who can get to work on your behalf. Domestic assault convictions carry significant consequences, including time behind bars, steep fines, and other limitations on your freedom. When you discuss your situation with your attorney, be sure to describe the precise actions that led to this altercation so that you can determine how to successfully illustrate that you were acting in self-defense.
3. Try to Remain Calm Throughout the Process
Facing any type of criminal charge can be intimidating, and domestic assault charges are no exception. It can be additionally worrisome in cases where it becomes your word against the other person’s, and it’s common to feel alone and anxious about the future. As much as you can, try to take it one step at a time and trust that your attorney will work hard to represent your rights and your freedom as much as possible. Together, you’ll strive to achieve the best possible outcome given the specifics of the case.
Ready to learn more about what to do if you’re facing domestic assault charges in the Pearland area? Call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 right away to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.