When love turns to hate, violence rears its head. Domestic violence, known as family violence in Texas, does not necessarily have to be physical. It covers a wide range of violent acts – domestic assault or verbal threats, aggravated domestic assault or using lethal weapons resulting in severe injuries, and continuous violence involving two or more domestic assaults. For a violent situation to classify as “domestic,” the person behind the violence must have a relationship with the victim, like a scorned ex-partner of a divorcing couple.
If you find yourself falsely accused of this crime with a pending divorce case, you must not take this lightly as Texas law imposes considerable misdemeanor, and felony fines and jail time.
A domestic violence accusation drastically impacts multiple aspects of your life. Your career, personal relationships and reputation may all be at risk. Social stigma, when the public generally sympathizes with the accuser, may also worsen your chances of clearing your name.
While every domestic violence is unique, your unfortunate situation may result from a contentious divorce. Your ex-spouse may distort the truth to gain an advantage in your marital disputes, especially for child custody issues. If this sounds like your current circumstances, there are some critical factors you must know:
- Emergency and temporary protective orders: The court can issue these expedited and enforceable orders lasting from 31 to 91 days, without providing you with prior notice. Sooner than you think, you cannot be in contact with your ex-spouse or child.
- Prosecutor: When your ex-spouse realizes they want to drop the criminal charges, they can’t. Often, prosecutors do not honor this request out of the presumption they’re filed under duress or threat.
- Potential defenses: You may develop a defense strategy with your legal defense team with the following arguments:
- Self-defense to protect your child, especially if with physical contact
- Inconsistencies or unreliable testimonies from your ex-spouse
- Insufficient proof, such as no sign of bodily harm
The last thing you should do now is either confront your ex-spouse for manufacturing false allegations to earn favorable child custody results or give in to the pressure from authorities to accept a harsh plea deal.
Fight for your truth
The worst mistake you can commit is taking matters into your hands and forcing yourself to believe you can fight for your truth without professional assistance. But the reality is the odds are usually not in your favor. But with a legal defense team, there is hope in building a solid case and protecting your rights to a nonviolent future.