Few accusations can cause more lasting damage than domestic violence. The allegation can change the life of an individual or family forever. After an accusation of family violence, the police will almost always make an arrest. After that, a couple can lose control over how the charges are handled. Police departments and prosecutors regularly prosecute cases even if the accuser no longer wants to move forward with the charges. Even worse, domestic violence cases carry an affirmative finding of family violence, which makes the criminal record unsealable and impossible to clear from a criminal history.
The consequences of an affirmative finding of family violence are multiple:
- The finding bars a person from ever owning or possessing a gun again;
- The finding can affect a person’s child custody rights in a divorce proceeding;
- The finding can affect the amount of money the other spouse can receive or negotiate in a divorce proceeding;
- The finding can cost a person his current employment and future employment opportunities, and
- The finding prevents the case from ever being sealed or cleared from a person’s criminal record.
Unfortunately, this makes affluent clients susceptible to accusations that are financially motivated. At times, they can be encouraged by attorneys or counselors to include such allegations as part of a divorce.
However, great legal representation can help avoid or mitigate these outcomes.
Why Madson Castello, PLLC?
Kendall Castello and Messina Madson were the chief and deputy chief of the Dallas County DA’s Family Violence Division and now regularly represent professionals who are accused of domestic violence crimes. With more than 30 years of combined criminal experience and 300 trials between us, we have handled hundreds of these cases as prosecutors and defense attorneys, and we know how to analyze and defend them. Understanding the prosecutor’s mindset and the weaknesses of these types of allegations, our firm has achieved great results in many cases—including dismissals and no-bills—often keeping the allegations from ever becoming public.
Madson Castello, PLLC, is committed to providing extensive, personalized attention to every client. Unlike firms that depend upon high volumes of cases, we choose to work with few clients for exceptional results. We use our extensive experience as both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys to zealously fight for our clients. If that sounds like what you are looking for, we are an ideal firm.
Types and Levels of Family Violence Offenses
Class C Misdemeanor – Up to $500 fine and an affirmative finding of family violence
Class C Assault Family Violence – offensive contact with a family member
Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in jail, $4,000 fine, and an affirmative finding of family violence
Assault Family Violence – Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes pain to a family member
Violation of a Protective Order – A non-assaultive violation of a protective order
Third Degree Felony – 2 to 10 years in prison, $10,000 fine, and an affirmative finding of family violence
Assault Family Violence Enhanced – An assault family violence with a previous affirmative finding of family violence
Violation of a Protective Order – An assaultive or stalking violation of a protective order
Assault Family Violence Impeding – Assault family violence by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person