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Many people do not fully understand the seriousness of a Texas domestic or family violence crime until it’s much too late. Texas Family Violence is defined as the reckless infliction of pain on a family or household member, which can simply involve two people who live together or are dating. The charges are filed by the police department, not by the abused person. In fact, the victim has no control over the charges at all. The victim of a family violence charge does not decide what happens with the case and cannot “drop” the charges. Only the prosecutor can decide not to proceed with the case.

Simply based on the arrest, an emergency protective order (EPO) can be put into effect, which usually requires that you stay a certain distance from the alleged victim at all times. The EPO remains effective for 60 days for a misdemeanor assault and 90 days for a felony assault, prohibiting you from returning to your home if you live with the alleged victim. Matters can be further complicated if you work together or have children together. The victim can also apply for a protective order (PO), which can be granted for a period of up to two years.

These severe punishments are imposed even before a conviction, which is why it’s so important that you contact the Law Office of Betty Blackwell in Austin, Texas. Your case will be assigned to County Court of Law #4, which has been designated as the Travis County domestic abuse court. As a skilled trial lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law, Betty Blackwell has an extensive history with this court and can advise you about the best way to handle your family violence charge.


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