Domestic Violence


A Strategic and Unrelenting Approach in Your Domestic Violence Case

The State of Texas takes a hard line against anyone accused of domestic violence (also called “family violence”). In fact, the District Attorney’s Office in some counties uses specialized divisions that handle ONLY domestic violence cases.

In the real world, someone gets arrested almost every time police get called to a dispute involving a family violence allegation. This is true even when the victim doesn’t want to file charges and simply wants help to calm down the situation. Often times after the dust settles, the alleged victim believes they can simply call the prosecutors and “drop the charges.” This is simply not true.

A person accused of domestic violence quickly learns that their case is treated more seriously than other similar level offenses. The resources that prosecutors devote to the case, their reluctance to reduce or dismiss it, and their insistence on getting an “affirmative finding of domestic violence” (which would elevate any future domestic violence charge to a felony) all converge to make the case more difficult. In addition, these cases present other collateral consequences that don’t apply to other types of crimes. These serious consequences include restrictions on possessing a firearm, the inability to file a petition for non-disclosure, and serious immigration implications. And the domestic violence label applies to more people than just spouses or siblings—it can extend to any person that the accused has ever lived with, dated, had a child with, or is related to.

The Houston-based attorneys at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP are three former prosecutors who act as a legal team when defending people charged with domestic violence. Do not try to resolve these matters without the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. The strategies used to defend against a charge of family assault are complicated and frequently misunderstood. Attempting to defend yourself against one of these charges often results in the prosecutors gaining more evidence to use against you. A criminal defense lawyer experienced in investigating and defending these cases will spot issues that can make the difference between winning and losing.

The attorneys at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP work together to create powerful defense strategies in cases involving allegations that someone:

  • Hurt their spouse, family member, or someone they were dating;
  • Violated a restraining order or protective order;
  • Engaged in stalking;
  • Interfered with an emergency telephone call; or
  • Should have provided aid to a hurt family member but failed to do so.

A conviction for domestic violence is serious and often cannot be erased. Even if the accused has never been in trouble, he or she may face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. A second conviction can result in up to a decade in prison and much more serious financial penalties. Any allegation involving choking begins as a felony, even if the accused has no prior criminal history. A conviction for any domestic violence crime can seriously affect someone’s employment, immigration status, social reputation, and ability to interact with their children. Steve Shellist, Peyton Peebles, and Sean McAlister understand this because they are former Harris County prosecutors with ample experience in family violence cases.

Contact us as soon as an investigation begins! Don’t make the mistake of talking to police or prosecutors without first speaking to one of our attorneys!