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Collin County Implements New Policy Concerning Assault Family Violence Cases

One of the most common types of cases that I handle on a regular basis are assault cases. When most people imagine a typical assault case, they picture a couple of guys getting into a bar brawl, some random road rage incident between disgruntled motorists, or a fist fight between two strangers who, in the heat of passion, lose their tempers with one another. So, you might be surprised to learn that most of the assault cases that occur in Collin County, Texas usually involve a dispute between two people who have an on-going relationship with one another.

Most of the assault cases that I handle actually involve family members, spouses, couples who are dating, etc. Therefore, the majority of these assault cases usually involve an affirmative finding of family violence. Or, in other words, The State of Texas alleges an assault occurred that involved two or more people who either lived together, were married to one another, or were in a dating relationship with one another. To learn more about Assault — Family Violence, click here.

What Makes Assault Family Violence Cases Unique in Collin County, Texas?

Evidence is what sets most Assault — Family Violence charges apart from other types of criminal charges such as Driving While Intoxicated, Drug Possession, Theft, etc. For example, in a typical DWI case, the State has a police officer who can testify to your bad driving, the mistakes you made on the standardized field sobriety tests, the odor of alcohol on your breath, your bloodshot eyes, and the empty six-pack of beer found on the passenger side floorboard of your car. In addition, there’s usually a video captured from the arresting officer’s dash cam that has the whole encounter recorded.

However, these different types of evidence are usually not available in Assault — Family Violence cases, because they generally tend to occur behind closed doors and in the privacy of your own home. Also, since Assault — Family Violence cases always involve two people who have a pre-existing relationship with one another, it is fairly common that the involved parties will reconcile on their own accord and prefer that the State not pursue charges on behalf of the alleged victim.

Collin County District Attorney’s Office Implements New Policy Where They Will No Longer Dismiss or Reduce Assault Family Violence Charges

Earlier this month, the Collin County District Attorney implemented a new policy specifically prohibiting Assault — Family Violence charges from being dismissed or reduced to Class C Misdemeanors. In the past, the District Attorney would review the facts and circumstances of each case on a case-by-case basis and then determine whether or not it would be appropriate to either dismiss or reduce the charge. Additionally, in some cases where the alleged victim did not wish for the District Attorney to pursue charges on his or her behalf, the case would be dismissed or reduced after the alleged victim attended a battering intervention and prevention program and filled out a sworn affidavit at the District Attorney’s office stating his or her desires.

No longer is this the case. According to the District Attorney’s new policy, the State will not dismiss or reduce any Assault — Family Violence charge no matter what the facts, circumstances, and evidence surrounding a particular case may be and with total disregard for how an alleged victim may desire the case to be resolved. This means that, without an attorney representing you, the only options that you will be presented with, if charged with Assault — Family Violence, will be to either plead guilty or set your case for trial!

How does the Collin County District Attorney’s New Policy on Assault Family Violence Charges Affect You?

If you ask me, Assault — Family Violence is probably the most serious misdemeanor that you can be charged with in Texas. Like other Class A Misdemeanors, if charged, you face up to 1 year in a county jail and up to a $4,000 fine. However, there are several other consequences that this type of charge can result in that you may not know about. An Assault — Family Violence conviction will forever prohibit you from owning a firearm. It will permanently disqualify you from getting a Non-Disclosure Order or clearing your background — even if the information that you are trying to clear is completely unrelated to the assault charge. Additionally, you may have difficulty renting an apartment, finding employment, holding certain licenses, or even remaining at or living in your own home for a certain period of time!

Therefore, the goal in any Assault — Family Violence case is to ensure that you do not receive a final conviction that will forever remain on your criminal history report. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who has dealt with these types of cases before will vastly increase your chances of avoiding a conviction. Just because the State has evidence, doesn’t mean that it is admissible. If you or someone you know has been charged with Assault — Family Violence, contact me at (972) 372-4054 for a free consultation!

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