Houston Domestic Violence Attorneys
The emotional and physical trauma often associated with domestic violence can be devastating; however, there are a number of legal protections available to victims of domestic violence in the Houston area. Though you do not need a lawyer to gain these protections or access these services, an experienced family lawyer can help you navigate what can often be an exceedingly complicated legal process. The Houston domestic violence attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler understand just how devastating domestic violence can be, and we may do everything in our power to restore your sense of safety by helping you enact any number of legal restrictions on your abusive partner. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at (713) 802-1777.
Do I Need a Domestic Violence Lawyer?
If you have experienced domestic violence or threats of domestic violence, you may not know where to start to get help. Even though you are free to navigate the process of obtaining protection against your abuser by yourself, you can gain peace of mind by consulting with an attorney. A domestic violence lawyer will be able to explain all of the options available to you in a clear and understandable way. Together, you can decide how the attorney will handle your case. You will be able to rest with the knowledge that an attorney is handling the formal process of gaining protection for you. Don’t attempt to deal with these difficult issues alone. An attorney will help you protect yourself to the fullest extent and as quickly as possible.
Why Choose Holmes, Diggs & Sadler to Handle My Case?
When you are fighting for your right to live your life peacefully and without abuse, you want to hire an attorney you can trust. The attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are dedicated to helping you get the best results possible. They have the experience to assist you effectively, and they care about the outcome you obtain.
Robert E. Holmes Jr. is the founder of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler. For over twenty-five years, Mr. Holmes has been practicing family law. He is Board Certified in this specialty by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Together with name partners Cynthia Diggs and Judith Sadler, Mr. Holmes focuses on helping people like you protect your rights. Ms. Diggs has consistently been named a Super Lawyer since 2009. She has appeared in all types of court proceedings. She is a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Ms. Sadler is also a highly rated attorney, with an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.
Together, the team at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler has the experience to assist you in your case and the compassion to make sure that your experience in the legal system is as positive as possible.
Forms of Domestic Violence
Generally described as any act of violence against a spouse, family member, household member, or present or former partner, domestic violence occurs with a troubling regularity in the Houston area. It is important to realize that domestic violence is not only physical violence. It can include physical harm or threats, but it also includes stalking, harassment, and sexual abuse. In Houston, cases involving domestic violence are typically prosecuted as one of the following three offenses:
- Domestic assault;
- Aggravated domestic assault; or
- Continuous violence against the family
Victims of domestic violence could include:
- A cohabiting adult
- Sexual or romantic partners
- Other family members
Our Houston legal team understands how emotionally complicated incidents or patterns of domestic violence can be for Houston couples and families. If you have been the victim of this crime, our Houston attorneys may work for the protection of you and your family.
Options to Deal with Domestic Violence
There are three types of protective orders you can obtain in Texas:
- Ex parte protective order – This type of order is available without the abuser being present in court. You and your attorney will have to provide information to the court in an application that the court reviews. If the court determines that the abuser presents a clear danger to you or a family member, the court will issue an order requiring the abuser to stay away from you. This type of order typically lasts for twenty days.
- Final protective order – This is a permanent protective order that restricts the abuser from coming near you or contacting you for up to two years. To get an order that extends for longer than twenty days, you will have to serve the abuser so that they have a chance to defend themselves against the allegations of domestic violence.
- Emergency protective order – This type of order is issued by a magistrate after an abuser is arrested. If an abuser is arrested for a crime involving family violence, you can request that the magistrate issue this type of order. If the abuser has been arrested for serious family violence, the magistrate must issue an emergency protective order. You do not need to be in court for this type of order to be issued.
You can discuss the type of order that makes sense in your case with one of our experienced lawyers.
What Does a Protective Order Do?
A protective order is meant to keep the abuser away from you and to prevent them from contacting you. A protective order will require no contact, whether that is in person, over the phone, or by electronic means. It is true that a protective order is only a piece of paper that will not necessarily stop someone from physically coming to you. However, there are strict penalties for disobeying a protective order. These penalties could be civil or criminal, depending on the circumstances. In fact, a violation of an order is the same as defying the court. An abuser who violates a protective order could be fined, face jail time, or even be charged criminally.
A protective order may require the abuser to abide by certain restrictions, such as:
- Maintaining a certain distance from a residence, school, or other location
- Not carrying a gun
- Not being able to visit with children
The order may also include other specific requirements that are specific to your case. An experienced attorney will assist you to help you obtain the particular restrictions you would like to have in the order.
How Do I Obtain a Protective Order?
In order to obtain a protective order, your attorney will have to gather information from you to fill out a form that will be filed with the court. After your attorney speaks with you about the domestic violence you have suffered, your attorney will complete the form and file it with the court. You will have to appear before the judge. The judge may ask you questions about why you need to obtain the order. After the judge learns enough information, if you are clearly in danger, the court will issue an ex parte protective order. Your attorney can make sure that your request for a final protective order is served on the abuser so that you can then move forward with obtaining final protection.
Consult with a Houston Domestic Violence Attorney
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our Houston domestic violence attorneys are committed to protecting victims of domestic violence by helping them regain a sense of safety and well-being through the legal system. To confidentially discuss the particulars of your circumstances with one of our family lawyers, please call our Houston offices at (713) 802-1777 today.