Ray Rice was recently released by the Baltimore Raven's and indefinitely suspended by the N.F.L. after a second video surfaced showing what appears to be the former running back assaulting his then fiancé. As a result of the controversy surrounding this incident and the way the N.F.L. previously handled Rice's discipline, domestic violence has hit the headlines and become the topic of conversation among many people.
Under Texas law, Domestic violence, also known as family violence, is defined as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault. It can also occur if the individual makes a threat that reasonably places the person in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault. The definition also includes those in a dating relationship.
When it comes to domestic violence, there are several misconceptions. For example, the assumption that domestic violence typically involves a female victim is a common belief among most people. But in reality, domestic violence occurs to men as well. Men get overlooked because the media and government focus most of their attention on female victims. Furthermore, the perception is that men are physically stronger than women so they should be able to overcome a female attacker. However, a survey done by the Center of Disease Control revealed that 40% of the victims of severe domestic violence are men.
Another misconception is when people make a judgment based on limited information. In other words, they have seen or heard a portion of evidence and made a decision as to what they believe occurred prior to reviewing all of the evidence. For instance, you see a video footage of X striking Y and immediately jump to the conclusion that X assaulted Y and therefore should be convicted. But what if there was additional evidence that revealed Y had a gun and reached for it right before X struck Y? X may have assaulted Y, but it might be justified as self-defense.
If all we ever did was consider one side of the story and nothing else, then the majority, if not all, of our clients would be convicted. The saying "there's always two sides to the story" could not have more importance than when you are dealing with criminal charges such as domestic violence. The alleged victim and the community have the entire legal system fighting on their side. Who's got your back?
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to present your side of the story.