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Suite 500
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Fort Worth
Criminal Assault Facts:
Questions and Answers

Cody Cofer and Lauren Crisera are skilled Fort Worth Assault Family Violence Attorneys. Our legal team can help you understand how to complete this process to get a dismissal of the case. This is often the first phase of representation in these assault cases. Cody worked as a prosecutor on hundreds of assault cases. As a prosecutor, he worked with abuse crisis centers to evaluate cases, and many times he had to make the decision to honor the request of victims to “drop charges.” Because of his experience handling the difficult decision whether to go forward with prosecution or dismiss the case, he understands the pressure on prosecutors in these kinds of cases.

As an experienced Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney, Cody understands how to negotiate the very sensitive issues of getting an assault case dismissed. Regardless of how hard our attorneys work on your case, we can never guarantee charges will be dismissed. Be extremely cautious when dealing with attorneys that promise you a dismissal. If you want an attorney that will be honest and work hard for you call us.

How do I get assault charges dropped in Tarrant County?

It is possible to get assault charges dropped. However, in many cases the State will not drop the charges even when the “victim” does not want to prosecute. Generally, to have a chance at having assault family violence charges dropped, dismissed, or lowered, the “victim” and the person charged will have to take very specific steps. Also, the attorney for the person accused of assault will need to do an effective job of presenting the case to the prosecutor assigned.

The process required to have a request for dismissal considered by the District Attorney’s Office varies greatly from county to county. Tarrant County has a “no drop” policy. Getting your request for a dismissal seriously considered is very difficult. Our seasoned defense lawyers will work with you to increase the likelihood of getting charges dropped or dismissed.

The process may include:

  • An affidavit of non-prosecution (ANP);
  • A sworn statement correcting what was said to police;
  • Counseling sessions by the “victim”;
  • Classes or counseling by the person accused; and
  • Other conditions worked out during negotiations.

If you want to drop charges DO NOT speak with prosecutors until you have met with the criminal defense attorney handling the case. If you cannot get in touch with the criminal defense attorney handling the case, this may be an indication that your loved one needs to get a new attorney. Think about it, you’re the State’s star witness. A criminal defense attorney should make meeting with you a top priority.

If your loved one needs a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney that will make their assault case a top priority call us.

Can the State pick up my assault charge?

Yes. Even if the “victim” does not want to prosecute, the State can, and most often will, go forward with an assault charge. In criminal cases, it’s not the injured party’s decision as to whether a case will be prosecuted. It is the State of Texas versus the defendant.

The State will use other witnesses to try to prove the assault charge at trial. Also, the State has the ability to subpoena the “victim” in a case. If the person does not show up to court, the State can get what is called a writ of attachment ordering a Sheriff’s Deputy to go out find the person and bring them to court. Prosecutors may threaten to throw “victims” in jail or charge them with making false statements to law enforcement if they refuse to testify to the same facts they’ve already told police.

You need someone that is going to work to get your case dismissed before it reaches this point. However, if a dismissal is not possible then you need a criminal defense attorney that is ready for this in trial. Defending these cases can be difficult and you need someone that is experienced and will do the leg work to win your case.

Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys will make your assault family violence case a top priority. We will investigate, aggressively negotiate, and skillfully try your case. If you can’t afford to have an assault on your record then call to schedule an appointment. Our office is located in Tarrant County, just blocks from the Tim Curry Justice Center (Criminal Courts) in downtown Fort Worth.

What makes a domestic violence charge a felony?

A first offense of assault bodily injury of a family member is a Class A misdemeanor; however, a second offense is a third-degree felony. A first offense may be charged as a third degree felony if the offense is alleged to have been committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth. A domestic violence case may also be alleged an aggravated assault (First Degree Felony), a second degree felony, or third degree felony.

Can I get probation for a domestic violence charge?

The general probation eligibility laws apply to assault family violence cases, so you may be eligible for probation. However, probation may have additional requirements for people facing domestic violence charges. Certain types of probation do not have the same advantages for assault family violence charges. Before accepting probation, be sure you consult one of our Assault Criminal Defense Attorneys to explain the short and long-term ramifications of a conviction or deferred disposition.

In addition to regular probation or deferred adjudication, you may be eligible for a domestic violence diversion program. Family violence charges cannot be expunged from your record if you plead guilty and receive probation (regular or deferred). Understanding how to get your assault charge off of your permanent criminal record is something you need to discuss with your criminal defense lawyer. Call to make an appointment at our Fort Worth office to discuss the best way to handle your case.

Will I go to jail for a domestic violence charge?

You may go to jail. Most cases with domestic violence allegations involve an arrest at the time the police receive a complaint. However, sometimes people are not arrested at the time of the complaint because they are not present or officers on the scene do not believe there is a need. If you were not arrested at the time of the complaint of domestic violence and a case is filed, a bond will be set, and a warrant for your arrest will be issued. Contact Cody Cofer, Criminal Defense Attorney, to arrange a “walk through” at the Tarrant County Jail. This can reduce the time you spend in jail, save you money, and reduce stress and inconvenience. Speak with a us about jail release.

If you are worried that a warrant is out for your arrest related to a domestic violence charge call our office located a few blocks from the Tarrant County Jail. Schedule a consultation with one of our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys. If a warrant is issued for your arrest or if you are arrested we will quickly work to get a reasonable bond set and have you released from jail.

What is aggravated assault?

Here you can read the Texas Aggravated Assault Statute. We have other informational pages related to aggravated assault. More importantly, you need to meet with our legal team to discuss the charges. This type of assault can result in a life sentence in Texas prison. You cannot waste time when preparing your defense.

We have won many aggravated assault cases in trial and had many dropped before reaching trial. Important evidence may need to be collected immediately, such as video, cell phone data, witness statements, and other forensic evidence. To get the investigation and defense of your case started call our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys without hesitation.

What does “family member” mean?

You may be charged with “Assault Bodily Injury of a Family Member” based on a variety of different accusations. The police or District Attorney’s office may label your charge this way if they are accusing you of assaulting someone you’re related to, someone you’ve lived with, or someone you’ve had an “intimate” relationship with. The following pages have more specific information:

  • Definition of “Dating Violence”
  • Definition of a “Family”

Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys have a terrific record of getting assault family violence charges dismissed. You can call our downtown Ft. Worth office.

What does “Family Violence” mean?

Although, “family violence” is referenced throughout the Texas Penal Code and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the definition of family violence is found in the Texas Family Code. Most other references to family violence merely reference the code section found in the Family Code. The very important thing to remember is that family violence is not limited to those members of a person’s immediate family. “Violence” is not limited to what your might think of as traditionally assaultive in nature. Getting a family violence assault case dismissed can be very difficult. You need to contact one of our highly experienced assault Family Violence Criminal Defense Lawyers. For a complete definition of “Family Violence” visit this informational page.

A charge of family violence can have life-long consequences. You need to speak with us. Our experience and success defending assault family violence charges is vast. Give us a call today.

How do I get a protective order (EPO) lifted?

In many assault family violence cases police will get a magistrate to enter an emergency protective order. Usually, these orders restrict the person accused of assault from being near the alleged “victim” or their home. Obviously, for most couples and families this is a serious hardship. These protective orders can be lifted or modified, but you must have a court enter a new order.

Courts should have a procedure for the “victim” to request that the order be lifted, but this process is often difficult and confusing. Honestly, the court staff for many of the municipal courts (where EPOs are usually issued) do not have a clear understanding of the procedure or your right to have the judge consider evidence to lift to the order.

If you want to lift an emergency protective order contact one of our attorneys. You can call our office to schedule an appointment.

Can the victim be ordered to testify at assault trial?

If you are the victim in an assault case then you can be ordered to testify at trial. Domestic violence cases typically involve a victim that does not want to testify. This could be for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason you don’t want to testify, the prosecutor can issue a subpoena that requires you to attend court for the assault trial. If you fail to attend court after being served with a subpoena, then the court can issue a “writ of attachment” that commands a sheriff’s deputy to arrest you and bring you to court. Once you are arrested and brought to court the judge will order you to testify. The only way to be sure you are not ordered to testify at an assault trial is if the domestic violence charge is dismissed. This is why you need to meet with one of our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyers. We have handled many domestic violence cases in Tarrant and surrounding counties.