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Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Domestic Violence

How to Get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

A Collin County Domestic Violence Attorney Who Understands

My name is Justin Barrett Wilson, and I am the owner and managing attorney at the Law Office of J. Barrett Wilson, PLLC. In my career as a criminal defense attorney, I have had the pleasure of fighting for people who have been accused of domestic violence charges in Collin County, Denton County, and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and getting those charges dismissed. Domestic violence, or Assault Family Violence as we call it in the Texas criminal justice system, carries with it horrible connotations. Whenever someone is charged with Assault Family Violence, it can feel as though law enforcement, the community, employers, schools, friends, and family all assume you are the stereotypical abuser. But I know all too well how stereotypes and labels get wrongly applied to good people, and I care passionately about seeking justice and clearing your reputation.

I represent many individuals in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex who have been wrongly labeled as abusers by the criminal justice system. Often times, domestic violence charges in Texas begin with good people in overall happy families who have one isolated bad day. Someone in the family calls the police, hoping the officers will diffuse the situation and leave. But instead, they make an arrest, and sometimes they even arrest the person who called them in the first place. If you, or someone you care about, is facing a domestic violence charge in Texas, call me. I’m here to help. I offer free consultations where we can discuss all the details of the arrest and all the ways I can guide you through the criminal justice system toward an outstanding outcome. Click here to schedule your consultation, and continue reading to learn about how I’ve been able to help other good people in your situation.

Consequences of an Assault Family Violence Arrest

An arrest for Assault Family Violence in Texas triggers a number of unforeseen consequences that can truly disrupt a family. First, a domestic violence arrest may lead to an emergency protective order. Emergency protective orders, also known as EPOs, can last up to 61 days. During that 61-day period, the court order may prevent the arrested person from entering his or her home. It may force the arrested person to stay away from children and their schools. The protective order may outlaw all direct communication between the arrested person and his or her family, or it may outlaw only harmful or threatening communication. For more information on protective orders, click here.

Second, an arrest for Assault Family Violence in Texas can prevent the arrested person from volunteering or participating in functions at a child’s school. Schools these days want to protect all the children under their roof, and in that spirit, they run criminal background checks on any parent who wishes to volunteer or participate in school functions with their children. Unfortunately, schools do not treat arrested people as innocent until proven guilty, especially if they see the term “family violence” on the background check. Even a pending, unresolved domestic violence charge can bar good parents from actively participating in their children’s school events.

Third, an arrest for Assault Family Violence in Texas can have a serious impact on the arrested person’s ability to possess a firearm. As noted above, domestic violence charges often trigger protective orders. Once the arrested person receives notice of the protective order, they commit a Class A misdemeanor in Texas if they are found merely possessing a firearm during the time the protective order is in place. For a more detailed discussion on how a domestic violence charge impacts gun ownership under state and federal laws, click here.

So Can I Get an Assault Family Violence Charge Off My Record?

Absolutely. In fact, there are four different paths to getting domestic violence charges expunged. The paths include:

  • Dismissal
  • Reduction to a Class C Misdemeanor with Deferred Adjudication
  • “No Bill” resulting from a Grand Jury Defense Packet
  • Acquittal at Trial

But prosecutors don’t hand out dismissals and reductions like candy. It takes hard work, clever strategy, and skillful negotiation by an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. What follows is a small cross section of the numerous domestic violence cases I have defended and the outcomes I’ve been able to achieve for the good people I’ve had the pleasure to represent.

Domestic Violence Case Dismissed

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Due to Grand Jury Defense Packet

Assault Family Violence Impeding Breath: Third-Degree Felony (Plano, TX)

Complaining witness called 911 from a convenience store, stating her boyfriend had just choked her at his nearby residence. She told police officers her boyfriend had punched and slapped her in the face. The complaining witness stated her boyfriend then choked her on two separate occasions that night, each time grabbing her neck and squeezing so that she could not breathe. Officer noted that, while he observed some redness on one of her cheeks, he saw no redness or marks on the complaining witness’s neck. He saw no red marks or bruising on the boyfriend’s knuckles. But officer arrested the boyfriend anyway and filed for an emergency protective order.

Result: NO-BILL

  • Modified emergency protective order so that couple could resume living together and freely communicating
  • Determined that complaining witness was heavily intoxicated due to a combination of medications and alcohol
  • Gathered evidence suggesting that complaining witness falsified statements in an attempt to get her boyfriend in trouble since he was currently on probation for similar allegations in a different county
  • Submitted grand jury defense packet in Collin County
  • Collin County grand jury issued a No Bill, effectively dismissing the case

Assault Family Violence Impeding Breath: Third-Degree Felony (Frisco, TX)

Married couple went out for a dinner date to celebrate the husband’s birthday. While having dinner, the couple drank alcoholic beverages, and they continued drinking when they returned home. In their intoxicated states, all they could remember is that the husband was giving his wife a romantic back massage, and the next thing he knew, they were fighting. The wife called 911, stating she was being assaulted. Police arrived, interviewed the husband and wife, took photographs, and arrested the husband for felony assault family violence, alleging he had hit his wife and pinned her to the floor, placing his forearm on her upper chest so that she could not breathe.

Result: NO-BILL

  • Photographs showed husband had scratches and red marks all over his body but wife had no marks at all
  • For husband to have pinned wife to the floor the way police described in their report, wife would not have been able to scratch and claw him the way she did
  • Wife wrote a sworn statement saying that one of the investigating officers put words in her mouth so that she would make the statements necessary for police to make an arrest
  • Submitted grand jury defense packet in Collin County
  • Collin County grand jury issued a No Bill, effectively dismissing the case

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed on the Day of Trial

Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence (Dallas, TX)

Husband and wife arguing in bedroom. Wife sitting on the bed. Family visiting from out of the country sitting in the living room. Husband encourages wife to join the family in the other room and tries to lead her off the bed by pulling her wrist. Wife slides off the bed and lands on the floor. She calls the police, and officers arrest husband.


  • Prosecution unwilling to dismiss the case at first even though police gathered no evidence proving a bodily injury actually occurred
  • Set case for jury trial knowing prosecutors would come to their senses and dismiss the case or jury would acquit husband because prosecutors lacked evidence to prove their case
  • On day of jury trial, prosecutors filed the motion to dismiss

Felony Assault Family Violence Impeding Breath (Dallas, TX)

Complaining witness told police that her boyfriend became jealous over text messages she exchanged with her father and took her phone. When complaining witness tried to retrieve her phone, she tells cops her boyfriend grabbed her by the throat with one hand, holding the phone with the other, and slammed her head into the bed. Complaining witness claimed that she was able to get away momentarily, but boyfriend grabbed her by the throat and squeezed a second time. She also told police that boyfriend punched her multiple times in the head with a closed fist. Complaining witness’s parents, who do not live anywhere near complaining witness, called 911 to report the assault. Boyfriend was not at the apartment when officers arrived. Complaining witness did not seek a protective order. And Dallas police did not arrest boyfriend for this felony assault family violence charge for another seven months.


  • Investigation revealed that complaining witness’s parents had been angry with her boyfriend ever since learning he had gotten her pregnant
  • Parents’ 911 call did not contain any first-hand observations of the alleged assault or injuries it allegedly caused
  • Photographs showed no red marks, bruising, or cuts on complaining witness’s head even though she told officers boyfriend had punched her in the head multiple times with a closed fist
  • Aside from complaining witness’s statement, no evidence existed to prove boyfriend was even at the apartment when the alleged assault took place
  • Prosecutors filed motion to dismiss two days before jury trial

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Before Trial

Assault Family Violence Impeding Breath: Third-Degree Felony (Rockwall, TX)

Two friends go out for a night of dancing and drinking at a Dallas nightclub. Both women drink, and they get into an argument when one of the women wants to leave and the other wishes to stay. The argument continues at one of the women’s apartment, and after a scuffle, the one who lives at the apartment calls the police. She alleges her friend knocked her to the ground and stepped on her throat while wearing a boot. Officers arrived and noticed that the alleged assailant had an overnight bag at the apartment. From that observation, they assumed the two women were involved in a dating relationship and arrested the alleged assailant for felony assault family violence.


  • Police assumed a dating relationship existed because of the presence of an overnight bag and because the complaining witness stated the two women had kissed once
  • Investigation revealed that the alleged assailant had brought the overnight bag merely to avoid making a long drive home after a night of drinking and dancing
  • Case law revealed that one kiss is not enough to establish the existence of a dating relationship, which is a necessary element of any assault family violence charge in Texas
  • While photographs showed a bump on complaining witness’s head, prosecutors charged the other women with assault by means of impeding breath through stepping on the complaining witness’s neck
  • The evidence was insufficient, and after several rounds of plea negotiations, prosecutors dismissed the case

Assault Family Violence: Class A Misdemeanor (Dallas, TX)

Police responded to a domestic disturbance where complaining witness stated her husband slapped her in the face, giving her a bloody lip. She told officers that she confronted her husband about working from home and asked him to leave. Officers noted both husband and wife were heavily intoxicated at the time. They placed husband under arrest for misdemeanor assault family violence. Two days later, complaining witness told an investigator that her husband tackled her at least four times during the fight and kicked her in the shin.


  • Evidence revealed wife changed her story significantly between the conversation she had with officers who arrived on scene and the investigator she spoke with two days later
  • Photographs did not clearly support either of her versions of the alleged assault
  • Body camera footage that the officers recorded revealed complaining witness to be highly intoxicated
  • After several meetings with prosecutors, they dismissed the case

Assault Family Violence: Class A Misdemeanor (Denton, TX)

Husband called 911 after intoxicated wife bit him when he did not feel comfortable letting her hold their baby. Background audio on the 911 call indicates wife was attempting to kick in the bedroom door while husband was talking to police dispatchers. Officers arrived and arrested wife for misdemeanor assault family violence.


  • Review of body camera footage revealed arresting officer asked several questions to determine if wife cause husband pain, which is the definition of bodily injury
  • Husband stated the bite did not hurt but rather it merely made him let go
  • Husband also stated wife slapped him, but he felt no pain nor was he offended
  • Husband expressed on several occasions that he was just concerned about his wife
  • But the lead officer told subordinates to arrest wife because she bit her husband, scratched him, smacked him in the face, and hit him 15 times in the back
  • Body camera audio revealed husband never stated wife hit him 15 times in the back
  • After several conversations with prosecutors, they dismissed the case

Assault Family Violence: Class A Misdemeanor (Allen, TX)

Neighbors called 911 to report a loud argument. When police arrived, my client was running from the apartment building, explaining to officers that her boyfriend had just tried to choke her. Police officers approached boyfriend in the apartment, and he was bleeding, his shirt was torn, and he looked like he’d been punched in the left eye. Boyfriend told police that client put a pair of pliers to his neck and threatened him. Officers decided client was the primary aggressor and arrested her even though she was the one running from the apartment building.


  • Review of physical evidence revealed that either party could have been the primary aggressor and either party could have been acting in self-defense
  • A check of criminal history uncovered an incident where boyfriend assaulted client in another state
  • An emergency protective order from that state was in effect at the time of this alleged assault
  • Furthermore, boyfriend was arrested in a different county in Texas where police determined he was the aggressor in an alleged assault involving client
  • Confronted prosecutor with the fact that he would need boyfriend to testify and be deemed a credible witness at trial
  • Prosecutor knew boyfriend could not testify and refute our claim of self-defense without opening himself up to cross examination regarding the other assaults
  • Prosecutor dismissed the case

Assault Family Violence: Class A Misdemeanor (McKinney, TX)

Neighbors called 911 due to disturbance in apartment next door. Wife and husband arguing about relationship and time spent apart from each other. Wife tells police husband pulled her down by grabbing the purse on her shoulder and caused injury to her upper lip by biting it with his teeth. Officer indicated he observed bite marks on the inside of wife’s upper lip and arrested husband for assault family violence.


  • Photographs showed abrasions on the inside of wife’s upper lip
  • But the abrasions did not show a tooth impression on the outside of wife’s upper lip
  • Therefore it was impossible that husband bit her lip because we would expect to see abrasions for upper and lower teeth
  • However, police photos showed wife had braces, and the abrasions lined up exactly with the brackets of the braces on her top front teeth
  • There was no way for prosecution to prove that husband caused wife bodily injury by biting her on the lip
  • Prosecutor dismissed the case

Free Domestic Violence Consultation

If you or someone you care about has been arrested for assault family violence in Texas, call me. I understand how stressful a charge like this can be on you and your family. If a court has issued an emergency order of protection, we can file a motion to modify that order and get you back into your home and reunite you with the people you love. I promise I will do everything I can to get your domestic violence charges dismissed.