Plano Criminal Lawyers | Plano, Texas
My boyfriend has been physically abusive for quite some time now. There have been multiple incidents, but I never called the cops until this last time. We were arguing and things got physical. I am 5 months pregnant and he choked me twice. He does jujitsu and got me into their typical choke hold. I also have a nine month old who he accidentally hit in the face while I was holding her. This is his first arrest for a charge like this. I did inform the officer that this was not the first time. I still had a bruise on my leg from the week before when he kicked me while I was holding my child.
I am curious as to the court process for these charges. Will the DA/prosecutor contact me eventually to discuss what happened? Should I reach out to the prosecutor and inquire myself? Will I need to testify in court?
I also would like to know what I need to do in regards to custody of my children and making sure that he is only allowed supervised visitation-if he doesn’t go to prison.
To answer the first part of your question, your boyfriend will be charged with a 2nd Degree Felony Assault for constricting the airway and he will have to post bond (probably about $20K) and the police will refer the case to your county’s district attorney’s office at which point a Grand Jury will most likely indict him. If your boyfriend is indicted the case will be assigned to a criminal district court and he will have to defend against the 2nd degree felony. Ultimately, he will have to accept a plea bargain or go to trial. Most often in these types of cases, probation is offered with the requirement of some sort of BIP attendance (Batterers Intervention Program). However, if he already has a criminal record (especially one involving violence), I imagine some jail time will be required as part of any plea bargain or at the conclusion of a trial unless his attorney is able to present a very different picture. If the case goes to trial, yes you will need to testify. The Plano Criminal Lawyers of Davis Legal Group, PLLC can provide legal representation to you to others involved in similar cases. In most cases the District Attorney’s office will not dismiss these charges even if you no longer wish for them to move forward.
With regards to the Child Custody, the best thing to do is hire a family law attorney and file a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship. With the evidence you have of family violence in the past, you should easily be appointed the Sole Managing Conservator of the child (essentially giving you all the decision making ability for the child and child support) and the court will deny or restrict his access to the children. You should start on this ASAP and request Temporary Orders to be appointed the Sole Managing Conservator and get child support in place and restrict his access immediately. Then set the case for trial. There is no need for much discovery or anything else. Don’t waste time and money. With facts like these, the case is very straight forward and can be tried in ½ a day or less. Beware of any attorney that insists on all the expensive stuff like social studies, experts, extensive discovery, depositions, and etc. All you need are his pay stubs to prove his income and you probably shouldn’t even go to mediation, with the history of family violence because most judges won’t require you to go, just get to trial and be done with it. I would even ask an attorney to file a tort claim to get you money damages for the abuse. If your boyfriend has money, he can try to complicate things, but unless you have a history of drug use/abuse or violence, there isn’t much he can do and besides his funds will be tight with a criminal case to defend.
I would not go to a woman’s shelter. Stay where you are comfortable. Let him keep paying rent or the mortgage as long as possible (he needs to support his kids anyways). I would go hire a Family Law attorney or go to the District Attorney’s office and seek a protective order against your boyfriend immediately. Normally the District Attorney’s office will do it for free, so I would contact them first. You should also have some protection for approximately 50 days because in these types of cases before your boyfriend can post bond to get released from Jail, a magistrate will put an emergency protective order (EPO) in place keeping him away for approx 50 days, but don’t wait too long to seek assistance for a longer protective order which can last as long as 2 yrs. With the EPO in place, you shouldn’t need to leave the home right away and with a longer protective order you could be in the home for a while but if he refuses to pay the mortgage or rent you may need to look into other options for housing at some point.
Lastly, you should take caution in reconciling with him or seeking to dismiss his criminal charges. CPS will be involved in this case most likely and they will not be happy with you if you seek to reconcile or dismiss the charges. Make sure you are taking steps to ensure protection of the kids and you should be in good shape by hiring Plano Criminal Lawyers or Family Law Attorneys to help represent your best interests. I hope this helps. Written by licensed Collin County, Texas Attorney, Nick Davis of Davis Legal Group, PLLC