How can a domestic violence case be dismissed?

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There are certainly ways to have a case against you dismissed. The case is only as good as the evidence gathered while investigating the accusation. Much of the evidence used in these cases is what the police gather almost immediately upon arrival. This includes 911 calls, photos, video, witness statements, medical treatment for injuries and most importantly what the victim says happened to her or him. This does not mean everything said to the police in the heat of the moment is true. Sometimes clarification is needed to supplement the investigation when people cool down later.

How are domestic violence cases handled in Texas?

The police are usually called via 911 by a victim or a neighbor. Most of the cases I handle involve a shouting match over something minor resulting in tempers flaring. A domestic violence issue can be between roommates, spouses, boyfriend-girlfriend or parent-child. Commonly there might be a shoving match and someone calls 911. The police arrive and separate the parties and gather information on what took place. They take photos in addition to what is recorded on a body camera that the police wear. There may be dash camera evidence including verbal statements. The police will usually arrest one of the people if there are injuries that resulted in pain. The arrested person can bond out in a day or two depending on whether a protective order is issued. The victim can request a P.O. which will require the alleged accused person to live somewhere else until the expiration of the P.O. of not less than 31 days.

Can you change your mind about pressing charges in Texas?

For the victim who wishes to change their mind about pressing charges, this is certainly an option. It does not meant that the prosecutors will automatically drop the case in court. Hearsay exceptions allow the victim’s statements immediately after an incident to be used as excited utterances in trial without the victim being required to testify.

A victim can have their wish to drop charges made known to the prosecutors office in the form of an affidavit of non-prosecution. They usually would fill out the particular Texas county prosecutors office form for this purpose at the prosecutor’s office in the county where the incident occurred.

How do I drop charges in TX?

As mentioned above the affidavit of non-prosecution is an avenue for the alleged victim to formally let the prosecution know the victim does not want to pursue charges against the accused. Once charges have formally been filed against a defendant the victim cannot do much to the stop the prosecution. Possibly there are more facts that need to be forwarded to the prosecution that may have been overlooked in the initial investigation. An experienced defense lawyer can help make this happen. Sometimes it involves a private investigator.

How long does an assault charge stay on your record in Texas?

An assault conviction stays on a person’s record forever. A conviction is a permanent resolution where a person pleads or is found guilty and gets either jail time or regular probation. This is the case whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. It would at least be better to get deferred adjudication probation in order to avoid a conviction. A family violence conviction prevents someone from owning a firearm under federal law.

How long can you press charges after assault in Texas?

A victim can try and file charges up until the statute of limitations. This becomes a problem as more times goes by. A credible person would probably not wait a long time to press charges. This is not always true. But there will be questions about why it took so long to file assault charges if it really happened as the alleged victim claims. Misdemeanors have a 2 year statute of limitations. Felonies S.O.L. are longer starting at 3 years.

What are the domestic violence punishment ranges in Texas?

Texas has a class C assault which is assault by contact with no pain. The next level of assault is Class A misdemeanor. Subsequent assaults and more serious injuries or including weapons are usually felony level. For more information on punishment range in Texas take a look at this article, Texas punishment ranges.

Does the victim have to testify in a domestic violence case in Texas?

No witnesses can be forced to speak at trial. They can be subpoena’d and forced to attend. That usually does not happen. The prosecution has the ability to get hearsay exceptions into trial evidence that were given by the alleged victim at or near the time of the incident. It does help if the victim testifies. Most people would like to hear from a victim in order to decide if they believe the accusations.

Assault Family Violence in Texas

For more information refer to this article on assault family violence in Texas. For more general information take a look at our homepage, Our Georgetown criminal law office is in Georgetown, Tx. We handle several county courthouses in the region.

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.