Collin County Domestic Violence Attorneys
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian provides experienced and skilled legal representation for individuals accused of domestic violence crimes in Collin County. Our team has extensive experience helping members of our community get the qualified legal counsel they need and deserve. We have seen firsthand how these charges can arise and how misunderstandings, confusion on the part of law enforcement, or a single mistake can cause significant stress and strain on the life of the accused and their families.
If you were arrested for an alleged crime of domestic violence in Collin County, make sure to hire a Collin County domestic violence lawyer before speaking to law enforcement. Politely request to call Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian right away. We want to hear from you, and we’ll be ready to help you understand the charges you face and begin building a strong defense on your behalf. Don’t wait. Call us at (972) 369-0577 to speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney today.
Table Of Contents
- Do I Need A Domestic Violence Lawyer?
- Why Choose Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian To Handle My Case?
- Types of Domestic Violence Cases We Handle
- Texas Penalties for Domestic Violence
- Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence and Related Offenses
- Domestic Violence Statistics in Texas
- Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence
- Contact a Collin County Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Do I Need A Domestic Violence Lawyer?
You should not plan on showing up in court and merely explaining your version of events. The prosecutor handling your domestic violence charges will be looking to get a conviction that could result in imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines.
Many domestic violence cases can involve dramatically different accounts of events between the alleged offender and the alleged victim. An experienced attorney knows how to identify any flaws in a prosecutor’s case and use those weaknesses to your advantage.
When an alleged victim’s story has issues that affect their credibility, the lawyer may be able to negotiate a possible reduction in the criminal charges. In some cases, the court could dismiss them.
Even if your alleged offense is a misdemeanor, you need to keep in mind the severe consequences that a domestic violence conviction can have. A conviction will appear on every background check performed on you. Additionally, you could experience many hardships because of the judgments made about people who have been convicted of domestic violence.
Why Choose Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian To Handle My Case?
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian is the largest criminal defense firm in Collin County. Because of our size, clients enjoy the benefit of multiple attorneys collaborating on their cases.
Founding Partner Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Roughly 1% of attorneys are Board Certified.
Mr. Rosenthal is a former Assistant District Attorney in Collin County and the former Chief Prosecutor for County Court at Law Two. He has almost two decades of legal experience and is a Board Member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the National College of DUI Defense and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Types of Domestic Violence Cases We Handle
Texas Family Code § 71.0021 defines dating violence as an act committed by an alleged offender against an alleged victim, or applicant for a protective order, with whom the alleged offender has or has had a dating relationship, or because of the alleged victim’s or applicant’s relationship with an individual, the alleged offender is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage with, and is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or is a threat placing the alleged victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
A dating relationship is defined as a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature based on the length of the relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved.
Under Texas Family Code § 71.004, family violence is defined as either an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or is a threat placing the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household, or dating violence.
The Attorney General of Texas states that family violence “is a pattern of intentional intimidation that is reinforced by violence, or threat of violence, to gain or maintain power and control over one’s partner.”
The domestic violence crimes that people are most commonly charged with in Collin County are:
- Domestic Assault – Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally threatening to cause or causing bodily injury to another person.
- Aggravated domestic assault – Intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly causing someone serious bodily injury or exhibiting or using a deadly weapon to commit an assault offense.
- Provocative or offensive contact – A physical act that doesn’t necessarily cause pain or injury but can cause the victim to feel violated. For example, pushing someone during an argument could be considered offensive to the victim.
- Recklessness – The intention of harming another person isn’t necessarily there, but the action comes without regard for possible outcomes. The action becomes assault if the victim gets hurt.
- Assault with Strangulation – Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally restricting someone’s blood circulation or normal breathing by applying pressure to their neck or throat or blocking their mouth or nose.
- Continuous Violence Against the Family – Two domestic assault offenses committed within twelve months of each other. A conviction could occur even if no arrests or convictions resulted from previous domestic assaults. The crimes also do not need to involve the same victim.
- Violation of Protective Order – Violating a condition of a bond by intentionally or knowingly communicating with or visiting the victim.
- Child Abuse – Physical injury or threat of physical injury, sexual misconduct, or emotional or mental harm of a minor or failing to make a reasonable effort to prevent these actions from happening.
- Kidnapping – Knowingly or intentionally abducting someone against their will with or without the use of a weapon or violence.
- Stalking – Knowingly engaging in conduct that causes another person fear when the offender knows that the victim will view the acts as threatening.
The severity of domestic violence criminal charges will depend on multiple factors, such as the nature of the injuries inflicted on the alleged victims and the alleged offender’s criminal record.
Texas Penalties for Domestic Violence
State law punishes criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors fall under three classifications. Felonies fall under five levels. Imprisonment and fines depend on the type of crime committed, the circumstances of that crime, and other factors, such as the perpetrator’s criminal history and whether injury or death resulted from the offense.
Sentencing guidelines for each misdemeanor and felony are:
- Class C misdemeanor – Maximum of a $500 fine and no jail time
- Class B misdemeanor – No more than 180 days in jail and/or up to a $2,000 fine
- Class A misdemeanor – Maximum of one year in jail and/or up to a $4,000 fine
- State jail felony – 180 days to two years in state jail and no more than a $10,000 fine
- Third-degree felony – Two to ten years in prison and a maximum of a $10,000 fine
- Second-degree felony – Two to 20 years in prison and no more than a$10,000 fine
- First-degree felony – Five to 99 years or life imprisonment and a maximum of a $10,000 fine
- Capital felony – Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Domestic assault is a class A misdemeanor. If the defendant were convicted of a previous domestic assault offense, it would increase to a third-degree felony.
Aggravated domestic assault is a second-degree felony. If the offender caused serious bodily harm with a deadly weapon, it would become a first-degree felony.
Provocative or offensive contact and recklessness are class C misdemeanors.
Assault with strangulation is a third-degree felony. If there are previous felony convictions other than a state jail felony, it becomes a second-degree felony.
Continuous violence against the family is a third-degree felony.
Violation of protective order is a class A misdemeanor. It becomes a third-degree felony if the defendant has at least two prior convictions under Texas code § 25.07 or 25.072 or violation of the order involved stalking or assault. The penalty would increase to a state jail felony if the offender violated an order issued under 7A.01(a-1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Child abuse involving negligent or reckless actions is a state jail felony. It would become a third-degree felony if the offense resulted in bodily injury to the child. For serious bodily injury to the victim, the crime could increase to a second-degree or third-degree felony depending on whether the misconduct was reckless or intentional.
Kidnapping is a third-degree felony. It becomes aggravated kidnapping and a second-degree felony if the perpetrator knowingly or intentionally abducted someone with the intent to:
- Use them as a hostage or shield;
- Hold them for a reward or ransom;
- Terrorize them or a third person;
- Commit a felony or flee after committing a felony;
- Interfere with a political or governmental performance; or
- Sexually abuse or inflict bodily injury on the victim.
Stalking is a third-degree felony unless there’s a previous stalking conviction or offense under any of these laws involving similar elements to the convicted crime:
- A federally-recognized Indian tribe;
- Another state;
- Federal law; or
- A territory of the United States.
The penalty increases to a second-degree felony if any of those circumstances exist.
Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence and Related Offenses
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian knows how to defend clients against the charges they’re facing successfully. We can thoroughly investigate the incident and obtain the necessary evidence to prove your innocence or contradict the prosecution’s theories. The State must prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our job is to instill doubt in the juror’s minds so they’re unable to convict you of the crime.
Every case is unique. What might work for another person might not necessarily work for you. The defense strategy we use will depend on the circumstances of your case.
For example, we might choose to go to trial if the prosecution’s case against you is weak. In other situations, it might be a better option to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser sentence if we believe the jury might convict you if we were to go to trial.
The most common defenses in domestic violence cases are:
- Self-defense – The only reason you caused another person bodily harm is that you were defending yourself against their violent attacks. We must provide solid proof that they initiated the altercation, and you had no choice but to protect yourself using physical force.
- Innocent – One of the most basic defenses is that you are innocent. We’ll need to establish an alibi for you at the time of the offense to show you were nowhere near the scene during the crime.
- False allegations – Sometimes, the victim will lie about the incident or make up a story as an act of revenge. During child custody cases, there are instances where one parent will falsely accuse the other of child abuse to gain sole custody.
- Violation of rights – If police officers violated your rights in any way, such as searching your home without a warrant, we could file a motion to suppress evidence so anything they found during their search would not be admissible in court.
- Accident – It could just be that the injury was the result of an accident. Maybe you didn’t mean to inflict physical harm on the other person. This would require substantial evidence to back up your story, including witness testimony and statements from the victim that match your version of events.
We know the ultimate goal is to secure your freedom so you don’t have to face prison time. A conviction could seriously impact your life. From that moment on, you’ll have a permanent criminal record and could have trouble finding a job, place to live, or lose basic civil rights, such as the right to vote. Your Collin County domestic violence attorneys will go to battle for you against the prosecutor to reach a favorable outcome.
Domestic Violence Statistics in Texas
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) reported that in 2018, there were 197,023 reported incidents of family violence. This represents a 0.9% increase from the previous year. Additional statistics gathered by TDPS for 2018 are below.
Victim’s Relationship to the Offender
- Husband – 4.2%
- Wife – 13.1 %
- Daughter – 3.2%
- Son – 2.3%
- Mother – 6.1%
- Father – 2.3%
Family Violence Offenses
- Assault – 96%
- Homicide – 0.1%
- Robbery – 0.4%
- Sex offenses – 3%
- Kidnapping – 0.5%
Injuries Sustained During Family Violence
- Tooth loss – 2.7%
- Broken bones – 10.4%
- Loss of consciousness – 17.5%
- Severe laceration – 25.2%
- Internal injuries – 23.5%
- Other major injuries – 20.7%
Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian understands the uphill battle you’re facing. Your future might be in our hands, and we want to help you prepare for what’s to come. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions below so you understand the laws associated with domestic violence and what you should do after an arrest.
Texas Family Code § 71.003 defines a family as including individuals related by consanguinity or affinity. Texas Family Code § 573.022 states that individuals are relatives by consanguinity if they are blood relatives. Texas Family Code § 573.024 provides that individuals are related by affinity if they are married to each other, or the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual. Family also includes individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent without regard to whether they reside together. Under Texas Family Code § 71.005, a household is a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling. Texas Family Code § 71.006 provides that a member of a household is a person who lived in the home. Some individuals may be both family members and household members.
In Texas, interfering with an emergency phone call is a serious offense and considered a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. You may also face the loss of your right to own or possess a firearm. Additionally, the charge can be enhanced to a felony if the accused has a previous conviction for interfering with an emergency phone call or 911 call.
Yes. Alleged victims are not the people responsible for charging decisions. The district attorney is the only individual with the power to drop criminal charges. An alleged victim may make it more challenging to obtain a conviction if they are uncooperative with the prosecution. However, you still need a lawyer to make sure that the criminal charges are dismissed. In general, you should not put much faith in an alleged victim’s promise to drop charges because prosecutors will usually continue with a case even when the alleged victim refuses to support the effort.
There are generally three kinds of protective orders in Texas, also referred to as protection orders or restraining orders. When a petitioner applies for a protective order, the court will usually hold a hearing without the alleged offender present. The judge may issue a temporary or ex parte order that remains in effect until the date of the final hearing, up to 20 days. At a final hearing, the court can issue a final protective order that may stay in effect for up to two years. Both temporary and final protective orders are civil actions usually filed by alleged victims. However, another kind of protective order is the Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection (MOEP), also known as an emergency protection order (EPO). A criminal court usually issues a MOEP or EPO in conjunction with a domestic violence arrest.
Contact a Collin County Domestic Violence Attorney TodayAt Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, our dedicated and experienced team will fight for your freedom and future. We understand the legal ramifications of a domestic violence conviction. It could upend your entire life and ruin your job, family, and reputation. You can depend on us to be your advocate and remain in your corner from start to finish of the criminal law process. We will aggressively defend you against the charges you’re facing.
Were you arrested for an alleged crime of domestic violence in the greater Collin County area? Know that you don’t have to face these charges alone, and our team will be here to stand by your side and defend you to the fullest extent we can.
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian knows that you are entitled to a presumption of innocence, and we’ll fight to get your charges dropped or reduced. Our attorneys can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (972) 369-0577 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation to discuss the charges you face and how we can help.