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What is Domestic Violence in Plano, Texas?

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in Plano refers to acts of physical assault or threat of violence against a member of a family, household, or dating partner. The offense consists of a pattern of behavior or conduct used to gain control over an intimate partner or relative, including any form of physical, mental, emotional, or psychological abuse. Such acts are referred to as Family Violence under the Texas Family Code

Domestic violence can be distinguished from other violent crimes based on the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. As such, acts that constitute violent crimes like rape, assault, and aggravated assault would be considered domestic violence if the victim and the suspect are members of the same family or household. The Texas Penal Code imposes enhanced punishments for such kinds of situations. Therefore, in addition to lengthy jail terms and hefty fines, a domestic violence conviction in Plano carries other negative consequences such as loss of child custody or visitation privileges, restrictions on the use of firearms, a permanent criminal record, and restriction on specific licenses. 

Plano Police Department recorded  765 cases of family violence in 2016. Incidents of domestic violence in Plano rose to 817 cases in 2018.  By the end of 2020, law enforcement in the city recorded 782 family violence cases.

How to Report Domestic Violence in Plano

Victims or persons who know victims of domestic violence can report such incidences in Plano by calling the city’s Police Department at (972) 424-5678 or dialing 9-1-1 for emergency police assistance. Interested persons can also report domestic violence by visiting the city’s police stations mentioned below: 

Plano Police Department (Main Station)

909 East 14th Street

Plano, TX 75074


Legacy West Police Substation
7401 Windrose Avenue

Building D, Suite 120

Plano, TX 75024


North West Police Station

4640 McDermott Road

Plano, TX 75024


Joint Use Facility Police Substation
7501-A Independence Parkway

Plano, TX 75025

Legacy Town Center Police Substation
7200 Bishop Road

Plano, TX 75024

Residents can also report domestic violence in Plano by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (800-799-SAFE). Furthermore, incidents of domestic violence in Plano can be reported to organizations that provide legal, emotional, and economic support to victims. These organizations include:

Assistance Center of Collins County

Hotline: (972) 422 - 1850

Phone: (972) 422 - 1125

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Emily’s Place

Phone: (972) 424-7775

Email: info@emilysplacetx.org

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Hope’s Door New Beginning Center

Hotline: (972) 276-0057

Phone: (972) 422-2911

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Stronger Than Espresso Inc

Phone: (469) 307-8488

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation,

Phone: (972) 880-4192 

Email: tmwf@tmwf.org 

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Turning Point Rape Crisis Center

Hotline: (800) 886-7273

Phone: (972) 985-0951

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

How Long do You Have to Report Domestic Violence in Plano?

Concerned persons have between two and three years to report a domestic violence incident in Plano. Because, under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, some charges cannot exist forever. The prosecution must institute a criminal case within a certain period of its occurrence, or else the court may no longer be able to exercise jurisdiction over the case. This limitation period is dependent on the severity of the charge in question. For example, the limitation period for a domestic assault is two years since the offense is a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, continuous violence against the family must be instituted within three years since it is a felony offense. Murder of a family member and sexual assault of a family child does not have any limitation period and can be prosecuted at any point in time. 

Also, note that the promptness of a domestic violence report may determine how strong the evidence available to the prosecution to support the charge would be. As such, though the limitation period affords the victim some time, it is advisable to report domestic violence as soon as possible.

How to Get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Plano

Facing a domestic violence charge in Plano without the services of a skilled attorney can be challenging. Attorneys are trained in the substantive and procedural aspects of the legal system and can navigate it better and come up with applicable defenses to a domestic violence charge, such as:  

  • Act of self-defense: This is the most commonly deployed defense in domestic violence cases. To rely on it, the defense counsel would have to prove that the accused use of force or threat is reasonably necessary to prevent an unlawful attack by the victim. However, the force used must be reasonable in the circumstance, and the victim’s actions must have put the accused in reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm.
  • Defense of others: The law permits the accused to assist another against unlawful attack by the victim. In this circumstance, the third party must be in imminent threat of danger, and the use of force must be reasonable and proportionate to the victim’s attack.
  • Lack of intention: In Plano, a person can only be convicted of a domestic violence charge if the action constituting the charge was done deliberately or carelessly. Accordingly, acts done due to involuntary intoxication, mistake of fact, compulsion, or by accident are done without intention and can get a domestic violence charge diminished or dismissed.
  • False accusation: It is a defense if the accused can prove that the domestic violence charges were made falsely and were driven by ulterior motives of the victim, including revenge or to obtain child custody in a divorce dispute. 

Depending on the facts of the case, domestic violence-related charges include:

  • Domestic Assault, which occurs when a dating partner or member of a family or household deliberately threatens or causes bodily injury to another. The offense also covers provocative or offensive contact with the victim. Assaulting a member of a family or dating partner is a class C misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to $500. However, if the victim suffers bodily injury, the offense becomes a class A misdemeanor punishable with a year in prison plus a $4,000 fine. Domestic assault involving bodily injury becomes a third-degree felony if the defendant has been previously convicted of the offense or if the offender tried to strangle or suffocate the victim. A third-degree felony attracts two to ten years in prison plus a $10,000 fine.
  • Aggravated Assault against a Family Member occurs when the offender uses or displays a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury while committing a domestic assault. This offense is typically a first-degree felony attracting between 5 and 99 years in prison, including a fine of up to $10,000. In the absence of the use or display of a deadly weapon, the offense may be charged as a second-degree felony punishable with 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Violation of a Protective Order: A protective order is an order of the court prohibiting the accused from approaching or contacting the victim of domestic violence. Violating this order constitutes a class A misdemeanor punishable with one-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000. Repeatedly violating this order within 12 months enhances the charge to a third-degree felony which attracts 2-10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Continuous Violence Against a Family Member: arises when the accused has committed at least two previous domestic assaults in the past 12 months. Notably, the accused need not have been convicted of the assaults, and the assaults need not have been perpetrated against the same person. This is a third-degree felony, with a sentence of 2-10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
  • Unlawful restraint: it is illegal to intentionally restrain a family or household member without consent. Such an act is classified as a class A misdemeanor punishable with imprisonment of up to 12 months and a $4,000 fine. Where the victim is below 17 years, the crime becomes a state jail felony punishable with two years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
  • Stalking: This is a third-degree felony that attracts a penalty of 2-10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Prior convictions will increase the charges to a second-degree felony, with a sentence of up to 20 years in jail. A family protective order may also be issued against the offender to prohibit contact with the victim. In Plano, this could result in loss of child custody for the offender.

What Happens if the Victim doesn’t Show up at the Trial for the Domestic Violence Charge in Plano?

The state may take several steps to ensure a victim of domestic violence shows appearance in court and testify. One of these steps may be to subpoena the victim to court. A subpoena is a court order compelling a witness to appear in court and testify. Refusing to obey such an order of the court may result in the victim being arrested or charged with contempt of court. Nonetheless, the prosecutor may decide to rely on some other evidence in the event the victim refuses to cooperate. These include police reports, testimony by credible witnesses, photographs of the victim’s injuries, and medical records. The prosecution may also consider the criminal history of the accused when determining whether to proceed with a domestic violence charge.