The difference between domestic violence and assault in Lubbock is significant in that the penalties for domestic violence are much higher and the future implications of a conviction can be much more serious for one’s family life. While many may consider these acts to be the same crime, the way that the law views these different charges could potentially affect an individual in drastically different ways. For this reason, you may need to reach out to a professional defense attorney with extensive knowledge about the difference between domestic violence and assault in Lubbock to act as an advocate on your behalf.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is what happens when an assault occurs between two people who are in a domestic relationship. This relationship is broadly defined, and could potentially include a member of one’s immediate or extended family, someone whom an individual is in a dating or ongoing relationship with, or a household member. For example, a fight between Texas Tech students living in the same apartment might qualify as an act of domestic violence because they are all living together.
Differences in Charges
Domestic violence and assault are charged differently due to the nature of the alleged parties’ relationship and society’s interest in protecting families, especially vulnerable parties such as children. Situations are unique when people know each other on an intimate level. Passions and emotions in these circumstances are different than a one-time assault that occurs at a bar or a football game. Family issues can be more ongoing and may be a sign of abuse because of the nature of the relationship.
Potential Penalties after Conviction
The consequences of domestic violence cases are much higher than those associated with assault, including ramifications with child support if someone is going through a divorce, losing his or her right to bear arms, or losing the right to have that record sealed down the line. The biggest difference between domestic violence and assault in Lubbock is the ability to remove a charge from someone’s record. When an individual has domestic violence on their record, they will not be able to get the record sealed and will be permanently stuck with that conviction on their record. In addition, the range of punishment can be very different from that of assault, including restraining orders or protective orders that are uncommon with simple assault charges.
Consequences of Assault
The penalties are much broader with assault charges. Of course, there are different kinds of assault and therefore different kinds of domestic violence, but generally, consequences are based on the severity of the injury and intent. Another detail that raises possible punishment is the cutting off of someone’s airway, such as in a choking or grappling situation. If someone uses a deadly weapon, then the bar on the range of punishment is going to rise even higher. If any of those kinds of assault occur in the context of a domestic relationship, then the domestic relationship can be interfered with by the state.
The Importance of Retaining a Lubbock Defense Attorney
The benefit of having a local lawyer is that they will know how events take place in that jurisdiction. For instance, if a someone receives a plea offer from the prosecution, a local attorney will know what the specific judge of the case is likely to assign as punishment if the defendant loses, and will therefore evaluate the plea offer more effectively. In addition, local attorneys know the judges and the local court system and have developed trust with those parties that can go a long way in helping the case resolve smoothly.
In some ways, the defense strategies are similar for these cases and deal with self-defense, denial of the event, or mistaken identity. With a domestic violence charge, a defendant has to deal with the division of property, who has the right to live at the house, and who has the right to be with the kids under certain circumstances. A criminal lawyer who knows the difference between domestic violence and assault in Lubbock will help a defendant through these difficulties with his or her representation and knowledge.