False allegations occur more often for domestic violence claims than in any other area of criminal law. These false claims are commonly used by a parent trying to gain an advantage in a divorce, child custody, or support hearing. Former spouses and dating partners will use false allegations of domestic abuse as a way to get revenge. Even the mere accusation of domestic abuse can be enough to ruin your reputation, in addition to destroying your personal and professional life. Chris Abel has successfully defended clients against false claims of domestic violence and has years of experience protecting his clients’ rights.
The Texas Family Code Chapter 71 defines domestic violence, otherwise known as family violence, as “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…abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or dating violence.”
Texas law defines a family or household member as:
“Domestic violence” is not a recognized crime under Texas law, but instead the term envelops many crimes if they happen to a family or household member. These crimes include assault, sexual assault, continuous violence against the family, child abuse, kidnapping, violating a protective order, and more.
The basic terms and penalties for domestic violence crimes can be found in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code as well as in the statutes of the specific crime alleged. The consequences can be enhanced depending on the age of the victim, whether the offense resulted in injury, if you have a criminal history, or if a weapon was used during the alleged attack.
The punishments for a charge of domestic violence start as a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500. The penalties can range as high as felony in the first degree of family violence that is penalized with a fine up to $10,000 and a prison sentence ranging between five and 99 years.
If you have been accused of domestic violence you may have a valid defense to the claim. An experienced defense attorney will be able to go over your options with you, and some of the most common defenses include:
Lack of intent or mistake: This defense can apply to some claims if you were not in the state of mind required to commit the offense charged
Self-defense: This defense applies if you used force against someone because you reasonably believed that the person would cause you bodily injury or death
Defense of others: Similar to a claim of self-defense, this applies if you intervened and used force against a person because you reasonably believed that person was going to cause a third party bodily harm or death.
False allegation: This is one of the most common defenses to an allegation of domestic violence. This applies if the event never occurred, another person committed the violence but blamed you, or if the alleged victim self-harmed in an attempt to have you arrested for the violence.
Even an allegation of domestic or family violence can be damaging personally, professionally, and ruin your reputation in the community. If you or a loved one has been falsely charged with domestic violence in the Denton County or Tarrant County areas, let Chris Abel defend your rights. Call or contact today to discuss your options in your case.