Family or domestic violence in Lubbock, Texas, refers to a series of behaviors conducted under the following conditions:
This violation is treated sternly since it includes family and household members. Under Texas law, individuals are considered family if they are related by blood, marriage, or adoption. On the other hand, household members are people who currently or formerly residing in the same house, regardless of whether they are related or not.
Domestic violence may also encompass relationship violence. In this case, the alleged offense is directed towards someone with whom the accused currently or formerly had a sexual or intimate relationship.
Domestic violence actions include:
According to the Lubbock Police Department, domestic violence was the major cause of homicides in 2020, with 11 local individuals dying as a consequence of the crime. Local officials attribute the increase in domestic violence to the lockdown, which forced many family members to stay at home with their abusers.
A victim or witness to domestic abuse should report it as soon as possible. The individual should contact the local law enforcement for emergency crisis intervention or damage management.
City of Lubbock Police Department
For emergencies: 911
Phone: (806) 775-2816
Aside from local law enforcement, other groups and organizations offer temporary shelter and assistance to those suffering domestic violence and different types of intimate partner violence. In general, some of the organizations to contact for assistance include;
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission
24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or (800) 787-3224 (TTY)
Phone: (737) 225-3150
24/7 Hotline: (806) 747-6491
Phone: (800) 736-6491
Open Door Office
1918 13th Street
Lubbock, TX 79401
Phone: (806) 687-6876
If the police did not arrive during the incident, a victim of domestic violence should usually endeavor to alert law enforcement as soon as possible following the violent attack. The sooner a victim can make a police report; the police can gather sufficient evidence in support of criminal prosecution.
Many states in the United States, including Texas, have laws stating that criminal actions can only be tried within a specific time frame, known as a statute of limitations. Domestic violence cases in Lubbock have a two to a three-year statute of limitations (depending on the severity of the charges). The charges must be filed within the specified period to ensure that the case can be addressed in court.
Victims of domestic abuse may also opt to pursue legal action to seek recompense for any harm done. This is not a criminal procedure and does not result in punishment for the activities. Such suits can assist with restitution, custody, visitation, and divorce issues.
When domestic violence charges are dropped or dismissed, the case is closed, and the accused is not punished for the alleged conduct. It is critical for anyone facing domestic violence accusations to seek the guidance of an attorney. A criminal defense attorney can assist in identifying mistakes, violations of human rights, and other circumstances that may result in charges being dismissed or withdrawn.
Domestic violence charges are a severe crime. A guilty finding might result in various penalties, including jail time and monetary punishment. The severity of the punishment rises depending on the circumstances of the offense. Other life-changing implications of a conviction include a negative reputation, trouble retaining a job or housing due to criminal status, etc.
Lubbock's domestic violence charges can vary from a class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. As with other offenses, the penalties are more stringent if a person is convicted of a second or third offense.
It is essential to retain the services of an experienced domestic violence attorney to provide legal guidance and manage the case.
Most significantly, because the attorney is well-versed in the law and legal administrative procedures, the defendant can rely on their expertise, and they adopt acceptable defenses in the defendant’s favor, such as:
Because domestic violence trials can be emotionally charged, the alleged victims may be hesitant to testify during the trial.
It is vital to understand that the state is the prosecutor in a domestic violence case, not the alleged victim. As a result, the victim's refusal to testify or file charges may have little impact on the trial, especially if the prosecution has additional evidence and witnesses to establish a strong case.
Furthermore, if the victim fails to appear for the trial on the specified day, the trial may be postponed on request. The prosecutor can then issue a subpoena requiring the victim to appear in court and testify. In this case, if the individual is summoned and fails to appear in court after being served with a subpoena, the court can issue a "writ of attachment" ordering a sheriff's deputy to arrest and bring them to court.