The Strauss Law Firm Criminal Domestic Violence Defense

The Strauss Law Firm Defends Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

 

Domestic Violence

Texas law recognizes three different crimes of domestic violence:

  • Domestic assault
  • Continuous violence against the family
  • Aggravated domestic assault

Domestic Violence is defined as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.  Domestic Violence occurs when a offender uses physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse against another person in the same household or a person that the offender is dating or has dated, or a current or former spouse. Women and children are the majority but men can also suffer from domestic abuse.

  If you have been arrested and charged with Domestic Violence call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200
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Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

Includes the following acts or omissions by a person:

  • Causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning
  • The current use by a person of a controlled substance as defined by the Health and Safety Code, in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child
  • Causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance

‘Born addicted to alcohol or a controlled substance’ means a child:

  • Who is born to a mother who, during the pregnancy, used a controlled substance, as defined by the Health and Safety Code, other than a controlled substance legally obtained by prescription, or alcohol
  • Who, after birth as a result of the mother’s use of the controlled substance or alcohol:
    • Experiences observable withdrawal from the alcohol or controlled substance
    • Exhibits observable or harmful effects in the child’s physical appearance or functioning
    • Exhibits the demonstrable presence of alcohol or a controlled substance in the child’s bodily fluids

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

Child Abuse & Neglect

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse

‘Abuse’ means the following acts or omissions by a person:

  • Physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm
  • Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury or substantial harm to the child
  • The current use by a person of a controlled substance in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child
  • Causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance

Neglect

‘Neglect’ means the following acts or omissions by a person:

  • Placing a child in, or failing to remove a child from, a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the child
  • Failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury, or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child
  • Failing to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered and refused
  • Placing a child in, or failing to remove the child from, a situation in which the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the child
  • Placing a child in, or failing to remove the child from, a situation in which the child would be exposed to acts or omissions that constitute sexual abuse
  • The failure by the person responsible for a child’s care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to return to the child’s home without arranging for the necessary care for the child after the child has been absent from the home for any reason, including having been in residential placement or having run away

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

The term ‘abuse’ includes the following acts or omissions by a person:

  • Sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of indecency with a child, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault
  • Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child
  • Compelling or encouraging a child to engage in sexual conduct
  • Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of a child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene or pornographic
  • Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child

Emotional Abuse

The term ‘abuse’ includes the following acts or omissions by a person:

  • Mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning
  • Causing or permitting a child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning

Abandonment

The term ‘neglect’ includes leaving a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the child, and the demonstration of intent not to return by a parent, guardian, or conservator of the child.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.
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Elder Abuse

Texas law provides special rights for citizens age 60 and over.

Texas Human Resources Code:

(a) An elderly individual has all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and privileges granted by the constitution and laws of this state and the United States, except where lawfully restricted. The elderly individual has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these civil rights.

(b) An elderly individual has the right to be treated with dignity and respect for the personal integrity of the individual, without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or source of payment. This means that the elderly individual:

  1. has the right to make the individual’s own choices regarding the individual’s personal affairs, care, benefits, and services;
  2. has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and
  3. if protective measures are required, has the right to designate a guardian or representative to ensure the right to quality stewardship of the individual’s affairs.

Elderly citizens still have all rights guaranteed to every person under state and federal law. The following additional rights belong to people 60 years or older.

  • Any person in a nursing home should, at all times, be dressed, well groomed and clean. He or she should be allowed to express preferences about food, sleeping and waking times. Any treatments or personal care should be given in private, not in front of an open door. Most important, a nursing home should not treat any resident with disrespect; each resident should be treated with dignity. It is often difficult and embarrassing for an elderly person to discuss degrading treatment received in a nursing home.
  • Abuse includes involuntary seclusion, intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, deprivation, hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, any type of corporal punishment, any sexual contact without informed consent, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, or any oral, written, or gestured language that includes disparaging or derogatory terms, regardless of the person’s ability to hear or comprehend.
  • Exploitation includes a caretaker’s using the resources of an elderly or disabled person for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.
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Violation of a Court Protection Order

A person commits an offense if, in violation of a Court Protection Order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, the person knowingly or intentionally:

  1. commits family violence or an act in furtherance of an offense under Section 42.072;
  2. communicates:
    (A) directly with a protected individual or a member of the family or household in a threatening or harassing manner;
    (B) a threat through any person to a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or
    (C) in any manner with the protected individual or a member of the family or household except through the person’s attorney or a person appointed by the court, if the order prohibits any communication with a protected individual or a member of the family or household;
  3. goes to or near any of the following places as specifically described in the order:
    (A) the residence or place of employment or business of a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or
    (B) any child care facility, residence, or school where a child protected by the order normally resides or attends;
    or
  4. possesses a firearm.
    (b) For the purposes of this section:
    (1) "Family violence," "family," "household," and"member of a household" have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71,
    Family Code.
    (2) "Firearm" has the meaning assigned by Chapter 46.
    (c) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or under both sections.
    (d) Reconciliatory actions or agreements made by persons affected by an order do not affect the validity of the order or the duty of a peace officer to enforce this section.
    (e) A peace officer investigating conduct that may constitute an offense under this section for a violation of an order may not arrest a person protected by that order for a violation of that order.
    (f) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that certain information has been excluded, as provided by Section 85.007, Family Code, or Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, from an order to which this section applies.
    (g) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under this section two or more times or has violated the protective order by committing an assault or the offense of stalking, in which event the offense is a third degree felony.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.
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The laws concerning any type of Domestic Violence are serious offenses in the state of Texas and can result in severe punishment including incarceration. There are enhanced minimum sentences when the offense is committed against a victim who is elderly, pregnant, incapacitated, in a public vehicle such as a bus or a train, between family members, when the victim is a law enforcement or correctional officer, and in other special circumstances.

 If possible it is in your best interest to have an attorney with you at the time of arrest. During arrests, mistakes can occur than can both violate your legal rights and hinder evidence that could be used to defend you.   Assault cases require not only an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with good defense strategies but an attorney is familiar with the local courts and law enforcement agencies.

CALL NOW AND SEE WHERE YOUR CASE STANDS!!!!!

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Brandon Strauss
The Strauss Law Firm
1001 Texas Ave, Suite 710
Houston, TX 77002
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Office: 713-223-9100
24 Hour Line: 713-586-9200
Fax: 713-223-9103
 

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