Posted on 1/21/19

Domestic violence is a topic we see in the headlines on a regular basis. In the past decade we have seen former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s altercation with his then fiancée, knocking her unconscious in an Atlantic City Hotel/Casino. We also saw Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson being arrested for whipping his son with a switch in Spring, Texas. Headlining stories of domestic violence are not limited to professional football players, however.

AUniversity of Texas basketball player is accused of assaulting his girlfriend after she went out drinking with another friend. A pageant contestant, formerMiss New York, Kira Kazantsev admitted she was in an abusive relationship in college. She spoke publicly about the complex psychology of domestic violence and the decision for a victim to reach out to law enforcement or for a spouse to leave their abusive partner.

The fact is that people on both sides of domestic violence disputes can be found throughout the country. Each situation is unique and can raise various issues of criminal and family law.  

Criminal Law

Ray Rice’s infamous attack on his fiancée and now wife was caught on film and resulted in third degree felony charges. Rice struck his wife during an argument in the hotel elevator. The charges were later dropped after Rice agreed to court-supervised counseling. However, Rice and many other individuals charged with domestic violence face other severe consequences. These consequences include loss of or difficulty obtaining employment and embarrassment for them and their family.

Adrian Peterson’s charges stem from violence against his son. While disciplining his son, Peterson allegedly used a switch or tree branch. The child admitted to being too scared to report the incident, however during a routine doctor visit, the doctor noticed injuries consistent with child abuse. The Peterson case raises the issue of whether this type of conduct constitutes appropriate punishment or rises to the level of child abuse.

as among other things, an act or omission that endangers or impairs the child’s physical development. This means that the law prohibits actions that result in substantial harm to the child, while the law specifically excludes reasonable disciplinary measures by the parent or guardian

Family Law

The decision to file for a restraining order or divorce against an abusive spouse is complicated, to say the least. During the course of a divorce in which domestic violence was present, child custody rights, alimony, and other issues can are affected. While termination of parental rights is uncommon, supervised visitation and protective orders are common.

Domestic Violence Criminal and Family Law Attorneys

If you are facing criminal charges in Texas, you need the right attorney working on your side. Speak with the criminal defense firm of Christopher Abel today.

(image courtesy of Rene Bohmer)

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