Cedar Park, TX asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Texas

Q: Boyfriend tried to strangle me. I have pictures of my injuries. This happened a couple of months ago.

This happened in march of this year 2019. Will DA or police take it seriously if I make a report?

3 Lawyer Answers
Jon R. Boyd
Jon R. Boyd
Answered
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You should file an Application for Protective Order. You may usually do so through the County District Atty Office at no charge or you can retain

You waiting 6 mos to complain does not help your credibility but you may have good reason for not having reported it earlier, I can't tell from your question.

Ahson B. Wali and Kiele Linroth Pace agree with this answer

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The state can technically file formal charges for felony assault for up to 3 years after the alleged incident. However, the likelihood is reduced with each passing day. The police want to help people who are currently in danger. They don't want to be pawns in a child custody battle or agents of revenge.

Photos of injuries show that a person was injured but they don't show how, why, when, where it happened (jurisdictional), or who did it. The longer it has been since the incident, the harder it will be to collect evidence to answer these necessary questions. At six months it may be impossible since the secondary effects of strangulation will have all faded.

Furthermore, not all strangulation is assault. My office has successfully defended cases in which strangulation was justified by self-defense, legally justified as protection of property, and consensual in a kinky-sex context.

To qualify for a Protective Order based on family or dating violence, you need only be able to convince the judge that it is more likely than not that violence occurred in the past AND it is likely to happen again in the future. Unlike a criminal case, you don't need proof BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT so that makes the loss of evidence due to the age of the case less problematic. Also, there is no statute of limitations on which acts of violence can be considered. If you broke up after the incident and you haven't seen him since then there might be a problem proving that violence is likely to occur in the future... if you didn't break up after being strangled then be prepared to answer the question, "why not?" There isn't a wrong answer to that question, and they will likely accept whatever you say about your reasons... just be prepared and don't be caught off guard by it.

Ahson B. Wali agrees with this answer

Ahson B. Wali
Ahson B. Wali
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I am very sorry to hear what you went through. Technically you may still report this crime to the police/county DA, but I think the lapse of time makes proving your case problematic in a criminal context. Your best option is to seek a protective order as soon as possible. This can be done fairly easily, through the county DA's office or with a private attorney.

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