Domestic Violence Laws in Texas

domestic violence laws in texas
domestic violence laws in texas

This is a multi-part blog post dealing with the issues upon arrest & consequences of a conviction or plea bargain  of domestic violence laws in Texas.

What is bodily injury?

“Bodily Injury means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Tex. Pen. Code § 1.07 (8).

It does not take much to make an allegation of “bodily injury.” Bodily injury does not require a trip to the doctor, any medication, or even any sign of injury such as a bruise or red mark. The alleged victims’ statement they felt pain is sufficient for an arrest to be made. This is why the police officer will ask the alleged victim if she was “hurt” or felt “pain.” If the victim says yes, then the officer has been provided with probable cause the bodily injury provision has been met.

What happens if the alleged victim decides she does not want to prosecute?

The State will prosecute the case anyway.

What is zero tolerance?

Zero tolerance means the police will make an arrest without exception after a family argument if they have probable cause to believe any bodily injury has occurred.

What is a no drop policy?

A “No Drop Policy” means the State will prosecute all domestic violence cases without exception, even if the victim wants the case dismissed and has filed an affidavit of non-prosecution.

Can I be held in jail even after I make bail?

The magistrate (judge) can hold the arrested person in jail for four (4) hours after making bail, if there is probable cause to believe any violence would continue if the person were immediately released.

This period can be extended up to forty-eight (48) hours if authorized in writing by a magistrate. If the extended time period exceeds twenty-four (24) hours, the magistrate must make a finding the violence would be continued if the person were released and the person has previously been arrested within ten (10) years on more than one occasion for family violence or for any other offense involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.291.

What is the arraignment?

After an arrest the accused will be brought before the magistrate for the arraignment. At this hearing, the magistrate will read the accused their legal rights, set bail, and usually issue an emergency protective order. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 15.17.

This is a multi-part blog post dealing with the issues upon arrest & consequences of a conviction or plea bargain of domestic violence laws in texas

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