Domestic Violence

Fort Worth Domestic Violence Lawyers

Protecting Your Rights During This Difficult Time

Domestic violence is a serious offense in Texas. If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, it is critical you seek experienced legal counsel immediately.

At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we understand the gravity of the situation and the potential impact these accusations can have on your life. With a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding domestic violence cases in Texas, our dedicated team of experienced Fort Worth domestic violence attorneys is here to provide you with strong, strategic defense representation. 

Facing domestic violence charges? Dial (817) 497-8148 or reach out to us online today to discuss your legal options with us in detail.

Types of Domestic Violence Recognized Under Texas Law

Texas state law recognizes three different types of domestic violence:

Domestic Assault

This type of assault can be either a threat or a violent act committed against an individual that the defendant has/had an intimate relationship with and involves some type of physical injury.

An intimate relationship is defined as a relationship with someone, including a family member, roommate, child, current or former spouse, or a current or former boyfriend/girlfriend.

Aggravated Domestic Assault

Aggravated domestic assault is assault that causes a serious bodily injury. A deadly weapon is used, which could be a firearm, knife, or something else – depending on the circumstances. A serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death.

Continuous Violence Against the Family

If a defendant commits two or more domestic assaults within a specific time frame, it is called continuous domestic violence. A conviction would be considered a third-degree felony.

What Is Considered a Deadly Weapon in a Domestic Violence Case?

In Texas, intention has an impact on what is considered a deadly weapon. Anything designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily harm is considered a deadly weapon by law. Here are some examples of deadly weapons:

  • Firearms
  • Brass knuckles
  • Knives
  • Baseball bats
  • Rope

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Texas

Domestic violence penalties in Texas will vary based on the severity of the crime and whether or not the defendant has a history of domestic violence. 

Some things to consider:

  • If no physical injury or lasting harm was suffered, a first-time offense is a Class C misdemeanor punishable with a $500 fine.
  • If the altercation resulted in physical injury or pain, the offender may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and fines up to $4,000.
  • Choking of any kind may result in a third-degree felony charge, carrying up to 2-10 years in a Texas prison and fines up to $10,000. This applies even if it was a first offense.
  • Any defendants with prior arrests or convictions may face third-degree felony charges, carrying higher fines and up to 10 years in prison.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders in Texas

A restraining order for domestic violence, often referred to as a protective order, is a court order designed to protect victims of domestic violence or abuse by legally mandating that the alleged abuser maintain a certain distance from the victim and refrain from contacting or harassing them. Protective orders are intended to ensure the safety and well-being of the victim and can have various restrictions and requirements, depending on the circumstances of the case.

In Texas, common types of protective orders include:

  • Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order (TEPO): This is a temporary order issued without a full hearing or notice to the alleged abuser. It can be obtained quickly in emergency situations and typically lasts for a limited time (usually up to 20 days). It serves as a temporary measure until a full hearing can be held.
  • Magistrate's Emergency Protective Order (MEPO): Issued by a magistrate, this emergency order is available 24/7 and often applied in cases involving domestic violence, stalking, or threats of violence. It typically lasts for up to 31-61 days, depending on the circumstances.
  • Temporary Protective Order (TPO): These orders are issued after a full hearing is held, and both parties have an opportunity to present their cases. TPOs can be in effect for up to two years and may include provisions like prohibiting contact, restraining the alleged abuser from a certain distance, and mandating the surrender of firearms.
  • Final Protective Order (FPO): After a full hearing, if the court determines that a protective order is necessary, a final protective order is issued. FPOs can last up to two years and can be renewed if the victim still requires protection.
  • Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection (MOEP): Similar to MEPOs, MOEPs are emergency orders issued by a magistrate to protect victims of domestic violence. They are often issued when law enforcement is called to the scene of a domestic violence incident.

What to Do When Wrongly Accused of a Domestic Violence Crime

If you find yourself wrongly accused of domestic violence, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and reputation. 

  • Stay calm and call an attorney: First and foremost, remain calm and composed, as it is essential not to escalate the situation further. Contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney, such as the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, who can guide you through the legal process and advocate on your behalf.
  • Gather evidence: Gather any evidence that can support your innocence, such as text messages, emails, or eyewitness accounts. Maintain a detailed record of all interactions related to the accusation, including dates, times, and any relevant information. 
  • Remain silent: It is critical you exercise your right to remain silent during this time, as anything you say or do can potentially be used against you in court. Refrain from contacting the alleged victim or discussing the case without the presence or advice of your attorney.
  • Work with your attorney: Cooperate fully with your legal counsel, providing them with all the necessary information to build a strong defense. Your attorney will help you navigate the legal proceedings, challenge the accusations against you, and present evidence in your favor.

Remember, being wrongly accused of domestic violence can be distressing, but with the right legal representation, you can work towards clearing your name and protecting your future.

Common Defenses in Domestic Violence Cases in Texas

In domestic violence cases in Texas, several common defenses can be employed to protect the rights of the accused. 

  • False Accusation: Claiming that you are innocent and that the alleged victim is making false accusations. This defense may involve presenting evidence that contradicts the accuser's statements or establishing a motive for false accusations, such as revenge, jealousy, or a desire for personal gain.
  • Self-defense or defense of others: If the accused can demonstrate that they acted in self-defense or in defense of another person against imminent harm or threat, it may result in a reduction or dismissal of charges. 
  • Lack of sufficient evidence: Additionally, the defense may seek to challenge the prosecution's evidence by highlighting a lack of concrete evidence, unreliable witnesses, or procedural errors that could impact the validity of the case.
  • Accidental or Unintentional Contact: If the alleged violence was the result of an accident or unintended contact, you can argue that there was no criminal intent. For example, if you accidentally knocked over a table, and it hit the alleged victim, it might not be considered domestic violence.
  • Mistaken Identity: Claiming that you were not the perpetrator and that the accuser may have mistaken your identity. This defense relies on establishing an alibi or presenting evidence that you were elsewhere at the time of the alleged incident.
  • Alibi: Providing evidence that you were not present at the location where the domestic violence occurred. Alibi witnesses or records may be used to support this defense.

It is crucial to work with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who understands the intricacies of Texas law and can develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. By leveraging these and other common defenses, the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress can help protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome in your domestic violence case.

How Our Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help You Navigate Your Case

If you are facing domestic violence charges or have been wrongly accused, the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress is here to provide you with dedicated legal representation and support. Our experienced Fort Worth domestic violence attorneys understand the complexities of these types of cases and are prepared to work tirelessly to defend your rights and pursue the best possible outcome.

Contact us online or give us a call at (817) 497-8148 to get started on building your domestic violence defense today!

The Opinions That Matter Most

  • My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.

    “Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”

  • Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.

    “I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”

  • I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.

    “I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”

  • This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.

    “This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”

Why Choose Us For Your Family Matters?
  • Direct Access To Your Attorney

    Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need. 

  • Transparency
    Honesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
  • Team Oriented

    At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.

  • Personalized Approach
    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.