Bexar County has two family violence courts for misdemeanors. This includes assault, terroristic threats, interfering with an emergency phone call, and violating protective orders. Until recently, all family violence misdemeanor cases were handled by County Court 7 and County Court 13. There is a good reason to have specialty courts for these cases. There are legal issues that come up more often in domestic dispute cases than in other types of cases. These include the right to confront your accuser, the one witness rule, and whether certain statements are testimonial in nature. Judges in county court 7 and 13 deal with these issues daily. Having special courts ensures that the judges will be knowledgeable on these issues and makes it more likely that these issues will be rules on consistently.
Recently, for a variety of reasons, these courts have started getting backed up, which has led to domestic abuse cases being transferred to other courts. It’s not clear how long this practice will continue, but for the foreseeable future, most of these cases will be handled by County Courts 7 and 13.
Bexar County does not have any felony level family violence courts. Instead, each felony court has a set of prosecutors that handle specialty cases .
If you’re being charged with one of these cases, it’s important to have an attorney who is familiar with these specialty judges, the prosecutors handling family violence cases, and the issues that frequently come up in these cases.
I have helped many of my clients charged with domestic abuse cases successfully navigate these issues and courts. If you have any questions, call me or set up a free consultation.