Accusations of domestic violence can be life-changing. A domestic violence conviction will result in a criminal record for the accused. Such a record can hinder the accused's ability to gain future employment, rent an apartment or be awarded child custody. When the accused is a public official, a domestic violence accusation can have a devastating effect on his or her career. This is why it is so imperative those accused of domestic violence take the charge seriously.
Recently the assistant police chief of Arlington, Texas was charged with domestic assault. Few details have been released thus far surrounding the charges. Somewhat ironically, the arrest occurred just hours after the officer participated in an event to raise awareness about domestic violence in Arlington. As a result of the arrest, he has been put on administrative leave from his department.
The state of Texas imposes serious consequences upon those convicted of domestic violence. But in order to obtain a conviction a prosecutor must prove the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard of proof is substantially more difficult to meet than the standard of proof in civil case, where only a preponderance of the evidence must be shown.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for false accusations of domestic violence to be made. A vigorous defense will point out weaknesses in the prosecution's case, keep out irrelevant evidence, ensure helpful witnesses testify and object to inappropriate arguments by the prosecution. Such efforts can introduce enough reasonable doubt to secure an acquittal, or get the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Source: UPI, "Texas assistant police chief charged with domestic violence," November 18, 2013.