When we hear the term “domestic violence,” most of us picture a male perpetrator and a female victim. While this dynamic occurs most often in domestic assault cases, there are many instances where a woman becomes physically violent towards a male. It’s important to recognize that women can be accused of domestic assault and face criminal charges, even if these incidents are not widely reported. Here’s what you should know about women and domestic assault charges in the Houston area.
Female Perpetrators of Domestic Assault Are Not Unheard Of
Every year, an estimated 835,000 men are assaulted by their partners. However, many men do not report these incidents of domestic violence. In some instances, men may not even interpret these violent acts as forms of domestic assault. Female partners may resort to acts of violence when they feel unheard in their relationship; research indicates that while men tend to use physical strength in acts of domestic assault, women are more likely to use weapons in these situations. As a result, a woman accused of domestic violence may face aggravated assault charges, which is considered a felony offense.
Domestic Assault as a Form of Self-Defense
While there are cases in which a woman is the sole perpetrator of domestic violence against her male partner, many women assault their partners out of self-defense. It’s easy for the responding officers to misinterpret the situation and charge the woman holding a weapon with aggravated assault. However, if she is acting in self-defense against a male perpetrator who was threatening her safety, she may be able to have these charges against her decreased or dropped. According to Texas penal code 9.31, a woman may be justified in using force against someone “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.” So, if you feared for your safety and you believed yourself to be in imminent physical danger, an assaultive action may be legally justified.
Taking Steps to Protect Your Future in Pearland
If you have been charged with an assaultive offense in Texas, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away to discuss your situation. It’s in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you speak with an experienced attorney; don’t give law enforcement or prosecutors any information that could incriminate you later on. They may try to encourage you to “tell your side of the story,” but remember that these are merely tactics to manipulate you into incriminating yourself. Instead, contact an attorney who can provide you with trusted guidance and protect your rights as you move forward.
If you are currently facing assault or domestic violence charges in Pearland or the surrounding area, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to arrange a free consultation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.