If authorities have accused you of engaging in domestic violence, you may understandably be fearful of what this means for your future. This is particularly true if such a conviction could complicate an existing immigration or child custody case, for example.
Still, a conviction cannot happen in Texas unless prosecutors can prove your domestic violence charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard exists in an effort to prevent innocent people from facing convictions for crimes they did not commit and thus facing unnecessary punishment.
What is domestic violence?
Based on the Office on Violence Against Women with the United States Department of Justice, domestic violence refers to abusive behavior that one party in an intimate relationship uses to maintain or acquire control over the other partner. You may face a domestic violence charge if accused of engaging in one of several forms of this type of crime.
This type of abuse includes battering, biting, slapping or shoving your partner. It also includes hitting, pulling hair, burning, punching, pinching and cutting. If you reportedly denied your partner medical treatment or even forced him or her to use alcohol or drugs, you may also face a domestic violence charge.
If you allegedly invoke fear by using intimidation, authorities may label you as a psychological abuser. This includes threatening to hurt yourself, the victim or the children, as well as destroying property or even injuring your pets. If you isolate your partner from his or her loved ones, or if you prevent the person from going to work or school, this is also psychological abuse.
This form of abuse involves deflating or invalidating your partner's self-esteem and personal sense of worth. For instance, you could face accusations of such abuse if it is believed you constantly criticized him or her, called the person names, interfered with his or her abilities, or damaged your partner's relationship with the children.
Other forms of domestic violence
Other types of abuse of which you might be accused include economic abuse, where you forced your partner to rely on you financially. In addition, you may face a criminal charge for stalking or cyberstalking.
How to ensure that you have the best defense possible
A qualified attorney will investigate your case and scrutinize the prosecution's evidence in an effort to achieve the most personally favorable outcome for you. It may even be possible to get your charges dropped altogether. No matter how severe your domestic violence charge may be, your attorney will work hard to make sure that none of your rights are violated during any stage of the criminal proceeding.