Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Assault Family Violence Cases

Family Violence
Once police get involved in an ordinary dispute between family members, an avalanche of social worker, victim rights advocates, law enforcement and prosecutorial resources are set in motion. Only a specially trained and experienced advocate can successfully negotiate and derail this legal juggernaut once it is set in motion. Hines, Ranc & Holub has this know-how.
Family violence is one of the most commonly filed & politically sensitive charges in the criminal justice system. Here are a few tools & resources to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions:
Texas Family Violence Council
Family Violence is a serious problem. But, as with many serious issues, sometimes the government's response is inadequate, inappropriate or heavy handed. Check out the information on this quasi-governmental site.
Travis County Court at Law # 4
There are even a special courts created to preside over these unique cases. In Travis county, this is County Court at Law #4, Judge Mike Denton presiding.
Travis County Family Violence Programs
This is the County run counseling agency. Many judges require successful completion of this "therapy" as a condition of pretrial release. BEWARE! This is a county agency. Information is not confidential!
APD Special Family Violence TeamThis is a link to the special "task force" that coordinates the arrest & investigation of family violence cases. Grant money that funds these type of programs are dependent on the number of arrests & convictions. Guess what incentive this gives law enforcement.
Travis County District Attorney
Most counties only have one office that prosecutes family violence cases. In Travis County, the responsibility for handling these assault cases is divided between the County Attorney, prosecuting Misdemeanor cases and the District Attorney, filing Felony charges.
Travis County Attorney's Office
This office prosecutes the vast majority of DV cases. Specially assigned & trained prosecutors follow a strict zero tolerance policy that has resulted in not only an apparent record number of DV charges being filed but, an embarrassingly high number of dismissal and acquittals.
Williamson County District Attorney's Office
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley has a national reputation for being one of the toughest, hard on crime offices around.
Williamson County Attorney's Domestic Violence Policy
Although not as organized & over funded as Travis County, prosecutions are becoming more aggressive
DPS Family Violence Victim Services
Why the Police make an arrest even if no one wants to "press charges".
Definition of "Family"
What determines whether an charge is a "family violence" case? The definition basically includes any member of your family, anyone you've ever lived with, or dated.
Police DV raining Materials
Law Enforcement training materials on DV cases
What determines whether an Assault Family Violence case is filed as a felony or misdemeanor?
Types of Assaults: Class C & Class A
Affidavits of Nonprosecution
Witness Chicken & The confrontation clause

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