Messina Madson & Kendall Castello, MC Criminal Law
When Family Gatherings Escalate to Violence
For most families, the holiday season is usually the “most wonderful time of year.” A lot of individuals are often excited about family gatherings, holiday shopping, traveling, and parties. Unfortunately, when family members have contrasting beliefs or misunderstand each other, a supposedly peaceful family gathering can quickly escalate to violence.
If you have been arrested and charged with family violence, retaining a highly-skilled Texas criminal defense attorney is crucial to collect critical evidence and build your defense. Before speaking with law enforcement, early contact with a defense attorney can make a significant difference in whether a case is indicted or even filed.
At Madson Castello Law, we are committed to providing highly-personalized legal guidance and representation to clients facing family violence charges. We will investigate the surrounding facts of your unique situation and craft a strong defense strategy to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome for your case. As former high-level prosecutors in Dallas County, we have extensive jury trial experience and long-standing relationships with local law enforcement that could make a critical difference in your case.
Our team of caring and compassionate defense attorneys will fight to defend your rights and refute the accusations against you with substantial evidence. We’re proud to represent clients in Dallas, Texas, and throughout North Texas, including Fort Worth, Denton, and McKinney.
Family Gatherings and Violence
Family conflicts or disputes can arise when family members misunderstand each other, disagree on certain views, or jump to wrong conclusions. Some individuals find managing their feelings quite difficult, and when hurt, they may easily turn aggressive or violent. Here are some risk factors that may be involved when family gatherings escalate to violence:
- Alcohol consumption
- Family feuds or tension
- Financial stress
- Heightened emotions
Conflicts that escalate can end in family violence allegations or arrests. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate your unique situation, enlighten you about Texas family violence laws, and determine your best legal defenses.
Family Violence in Texas
According to the 2020 Crime in Texas report, the total number of Texas family violence incidents in 2020 was 213,875, representing an 8.6% increase when compared to 2019.
Pursuant to Texas Family Code Section 71.004, family violence may be described as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.”
Additionally, family violence may include:
- Child abuse: Abuse by a family or household member towards a child of the family or household
- Dating violence: A violent act committed against a person in a dating relationship
Under Texas laws, a family or household member may be any individuals who share one of the following relationships:
- A current or former spouse
- A child of a former or current spouse
- Parents of the same child
- A foster parent or foster child of the defendant
- Relatives by blood, adoption, or marriage
- A person who currently lives or previously lived in the household
- A current or former dating or romantic partner
Once a Report Is Filed
Under Texas laws, a suspect must be arrested during a family violence incident even if no charges are filed. Once a report has been filed, a judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. No warrant will be required if the police witnessed the family violence incident or have evidence of violence, such as physical injury. Once arrested, you will be taken to jail.
Following your arrest, you will be brought in front of a judge. The judge may require a cooling period (an amount of time you must spend in jail before allowing you to leave or post bail). Also, an emergency protection order may be issued against you, ordering you to stay away from the victim. You may face additional consequences for violating a Protective Order.
Even if the family member decides that it was all a big misunderstanding, it may be out of their hands at that point. Only a prosecutor can have charges dismissed. A trial date will be set, and you will need to appear at trial. Therefore, it is important that you hire an aggressive attorney to help defend your rights and represent you during the legal proceedings.
Don’t Risk Your Future
A defendant convicted of family violence could be facing harsh criminal penalties, including imprisonment, massive fines, loss of parental rights, a protective order, restrictions on firearm possession, and other social ramifications. Therefore, it is important that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to defend your rights and help craft the right legal defense strategy that fits your unique situation.
At Madson Castello Law, we have the resources and experience to defend and represent individuals wrongfully accused of family violence. As your legal counsel, we will evaluate every facet of your personal situation, carry out an in-depth investigation, and strategize an effective defense for your case. Using our extensive legal understanding, our team will help you navigate the Texas criminal justice system. We will fight vigorously to defend your rights, help keep your record clean, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.
Facing family violence charges can be scary. Don’t risk your future by facing them alone. Contact Madson Castello Law today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney. Our team can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, reliable advocacy, and vigorous representation you need to fight your family violence allegations. Our firm proudly represents clients in Dallas, Texas, and throughout North Texas, including Fort Worth, Denton, and McKinney.