Responses to COVID-19 Might Lead to Rise in Domestic Violence

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In Texas, domestic violence (also referred to as family violence) is defined as an act that could result in physical harm or bodily injury to a family or household member. The Texas Family Code also provides that actual contact does not have to occur for a person to be charged with this offense. Assaulting someone or making a threat that makes the other person fear that they are in imminent danger of physical harm also meets the definition.

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The law states that a person can be charged with domestic violence if they harm or threaten to harm a:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Relative by blood or marriage
  • Person with whom the alleged offender shares a child
  • Roommates or former roommates
  • Intimate or romantic dating partner

Potential Rise in Domestic Violence Incidents

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in 2018, there were nearly 200,000 reports of family violence committed against 212,885 victims. Because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic currently affecting the nation, the number of family violence cases is expected to increase. Current recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as social distancing (keeping at least 6 feet away from others), have resulted in the implementation of "stay-at-home" orders from local governments.

With family and household members spending many hours together every day, tensions are likely to rise, and conflicts can lead to disagreements that escalate into alleged domestic violence incidents.

Aggressive Defense Is Important in These Types of Matters

If you are arrested for an alleged domestic violence offense in Houston or the surrounding areas, it's crucial to have aggressive defense on your side. The State is concerned with protecting its residents, and it will harshly pursue those accused of harming a family or household member. The prosecutor will do everything in their legal power to land a conviction.

If you're found guilty, you could face:

  • Jail time
  • Steep fines
  • Loss of custody rights
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Loss of job or future career opportunities

Often, family violence cases arise from disagreements, miscommunications, or false accusations. Many times the alleged offender will try to explain their side of the story to law enforcement officials. Unfortunately, this could lead to them saying something that can be used as evidence of their guilt in court.

The most effective way to protect your rights and freedoms is to retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. They can advise you on what to say or what questions you should and should not answer during an interrogation. If you are eventually charged with the offense, you'll need trusted counsel on your side who's not afraid to stand up to the prosecutor and challenge the accusations made against you.

Our Firm Is Ready to Represent You

At Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C., the team has 60 years of combined legal experience and knows how to develop aggressive legal strategies for family violence matters. The firm has handled thousands of cases and hundreds of jury trials. By listening to your side of the story, reviewing the prosecutor's evidence against you, and thoroughly preparing for your case, the attorneys can present a compelling defense on your behalf.

Schedule your free case evaluation by calling us at (713) 364-9913 or contacting us online today.

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