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What is Domestic Violence in El Paso, Texas?

Domestic Violence

In El Paso, Texas, domestic violence constitutes violent acts committed by one family member against another. These acts usually threaten or result in physical harm, bodily harm, assault, or sexual assault of family members, including children.

Family members are individuals who share any of these relationships:

  • Spouses (either current or previous)
  • Parents who have the same child
  • Foster child and guardian
  • Blood, marriage, or adoption relations
  • Romantic or dating partners.

A conviction for any form of domestic violence in El Paso carries severe repercussions, including jail time and fines. These punishments are often determined by various circumstances, including whether or not the victim suffers substantial physical harm and the defendant's past criminal history. In addition to incarceration and fine penalties, the perpetrator may also be ordered to compensate the victim and attend domestic violence or drug addiction therapy if applicable.

How to Report Domestic Violence in El Paso

Generally, when domestic violence occurs, victims can immediately contact 911 for law enforcement intervention and emergency medical assistance. The victim may also use the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233) for crisis intervention and referrals to domestic violence shelters.

More specifically, the El Paso Police Department (EPPD) regards domestic violence as a severe crime and proactively protects victims' rights. Consequently, the force maintains a Victims Services Response Team (VSRT), which offers rapid, efficient, and sympathetic treatment to crime victims to minimize any damage done.

Representatives from the VSRT are available at each EPPD Regional Command Center and Headquarters.

Other helpful organizations within the city include:

La Posada Home

(915) 544 4595


Center Against Sexual & Family Violence

580 Giles Road

El Paso, TX 79915.

Phone: (915) 593-7474

(915) 593-1000

Fax: (915) 544-2373


YWCA transitional living center

201 E. Main, Suite 400, 

El Paso, TX 79901.

Phone: (915) 519-0000 

Fax: (915) 533-7921

How Long do You Have to Report Domestic Violence in El Paso?

Criminal offenses such as domestic violence must be reported within a specific time period to guarantee that the crime is prosecuted as quickly as possible. If a lot of time elapses between the criminal incident and the prosecution of the offense, critical evidence may be lost. 

The statute of limitations is a procedural rule meant to shield defendants from lengthy and unfair prosecution. The statute of limitations for specific offenses is highlighted in chapter 12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The time limits for a domestic violence violation depend on whether the alleged act is a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony domestic violence offense has a three-year statute of limitations, and a Class A or Class B misdemeanor may be filed within two years of the date of the crime and not later. If the charges are presented after the statute of limitations has passed, the defense may submit a request to dismiss the charges.

How to get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed in El Paso

Although getting charged with domestic violence may result in serious repercussions such as prison time and hefty fines, it is quite possible to have domestic violence accusations dropped completely. Interested parties will require experienced legal assistance. 

Defense attorneys are recommended for defendants who believe domestic abuse claims jeopardize their future. These attorneys know how to protect their clients' interests and guarantee that their side of the story is heard, especially when the charges are based on misunderstandings or errors.

The defendant is urged to gather proof to get their charges dropped or reduced. The attorney will assist in collecting evidence, presenting the evidence, and cross-examining the prosecutor’s witnesses to demonstrate that the defendant did not engage in the alleged crime. In addition to presenting facts, the defense attorney may raise several defenses. These may include:

  • Insufficient evidence. The defense can present evidence that counter’s the prosecution’s case, especially where the evidence submitted by the prosecution does not verify the victim’s account or is insufficient to result in a conviction.
  • False accusations. While charges of domestic violence are taken seriously when they are authentic, false accusations may cause substantial problems for the wrongly accused and the prosecutor investigating them. Suppose the prosecution discovers that the accuser has a history of falsely reporting domestic violence during a trial. In that case, they may be concerned that a jury would not believe them, especially where there is no other evidence to support their claims. The defense counsel may submit evidence that defeats the accuser’s stories and may bring up the accuser's history of falsely asserting domestic violence. As a consequence, the charges may be dismissed.
  • There was a mistaken report. Some occurrences of domestic violence are the consequence of misconceptions from a third party.
  • Self-Defense. In the case of assault-related charges, the defendant might demonstrate that they acted in self-defense.
  • Accident. In cases where arguments escalated, the defense can prove that the violence was not perpetrated on purpose but accidentally.

Under Texas Penal Code §§ 22.01 & 22.02, domestic violence can be divided into three primary charges:

  • Domestic assault: This type of domestic violence crime is committed when an offender deliberately, willfully, or carelessly causes or threatens bodily harm or makes offensive or provocative physical contact with a family member. This charge is a Class A misdemeanor that may result in a year in county detention facilities.
  • Aggravated domestic assault: This is a crime of domestic assault with more aggravating circumstances, such as causing significant physical harm or using a lethal weapon in the commission of the crime. It is a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
  • Continuous or ongoing domestic violence against the family: If a person is accused of perpetrating two domestic assault crimes within 12 months, the individual is charged with this type of domestic violence. It is a third-degree felony that carries a sentence of 2 to 10 years in state prison.

What Happens if the Victim doesn't Show up at the Trial for the Domestic Violence Charge in El Paso?

Many Texas municipalities, including El Paso, have zero-tolerance policies for domestic violence. As a result, when a victim indicates that they do not choose to pursue charges or participate in the case, it does not necessarily suggest that the prosecutor will drop the case. This implies that the victim’s failure to show up at a trial may not have an impact on the outcome of the case if there is already enough evidence.

Nonetheless, the victim is generally an important witness in the case since their evidence and testimony can easily sway a jury. In some cases, the witness or victim may be compelled to testify by being served with a subpoena and made to appear in court. In this case, if the alleged victim refuses to testify, they may be placed in contempt of court. As such, if the court summons the individual, they are urged to show up at the stipulated time to avoid issues.