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When someone loses their temper, and an interaction escalates to hitting, shoving, punching, and kicking another member of their household, somebody is going to jail when the police become involved.

The term “domestic violence” describes intentional, knowing, reckless physical assaults on any member of a household, not just a spouse, the original meaning of domestic violence. People who are charged with this crime need assistance from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney because they face fines and jail time.

When you are accused of a physical assault in your home, a Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer could stand up for your rights and tenaciously defend you.

Requesting an Emergency Protective Order

The court will issue an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) when the arresting officer, accuser, or prosecuting attorney requests one. The EPO prevents the accused and accuser from having contact with each other. The judge, at their discretion, can issue an EPO for between 31 and 91 days, which can restrict the accused from:

  • Harassing the accuser
  • Having a firearm in their possession, a federal mandate
  • Committing additional acts of violence against the accuser or anyone in the household
  • Physically being closer than 500 feet from the accuser’s home, school, or workplace

The accused may choose to attend Anger Control Counseling (ACC), which prosecutors will consider when reviewing charges and determining a plea agreement. A Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer understands that living with a person is not always without arguments and could employ every available defense and mitigating circumstance toward the best outcome.

Affidavit of Non-Prosecution

An accuser who pressed assault charges against but later wants to drop them can file an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution asking the court to dismiss the case or reduce the charge. One common example is a dispute between two family members who were drunk and regret their actions the next day. The district attorney will seriously consider the affidavit but does not have to honor it. The EPO and Affidavit of Non-Prosecution are tools employed to help the accused and accuser stitch their lives back together and move on.

Common Domestic Violence Charges and Penalties

The police officer or deputy responding to a domestic violence call can charge one or both parties with a misdemeanor or one of three felonies.

An initial Assault on a Family Member is charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

The more serious charge, Assault of a Family Member by Impeding Breath, which means by choking, is a felony in the third degree punishable by serving two to 10 years in state prison and paying a fine of up to $10,000.

Assault on a Family Member with a Prior Assault is also a felony in the third degree with the same punishment as for impeding breath.

If the accused is charged with Assault on a Family Member twice within 12 months, the law amps up the misdemeanor punishment for an initial assault and charges the second one as a third-degree felony.

Because an accused faces losing their freedom, family, and financial stability, it is imperative to call an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer in Fort Worth now.

A Fort Worth Domestic Violence Attorney Supports Your Legal Rights

Communicating that you are angry can lead to an understanding between people, but it can also lead to violence if the anger spills over. When it does, you can be arrested, and you risk a felony on your record when it is your second arrest.

The Meza Law Firm wants to restore you to the productive member of society you were before your arrest for assaulting a family member. Because this is a criminal charge that involves jail time when you are convicted, call a Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer who could get to work for you.