Post written by Brooke Price.
Convictions for family violence offenses can have considerable lifetime repercussions. A charge for a family violence offense can range from a class A misdemeanor to a 1st degree felony, and anywhere from a year in jail with up to a $4,000 fine to up to 99 years with up to a $10,000 fine.
According to the Texas DPS, family violence is defined as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm. The law excludes the reasonable discipline of a child…” 1
Consequences for family violence charges include limited employment opportunities and rights, higher stakes in subsequent court cases, damage to your reputation and a permanent mark on your criminal record.
Employment opportunities can be significantly limited because of family violence charges:
- You may lose your current job.
- You may be ineligible to hold public service positions, like teaching and nursing.
- You can lose professional licenses, such as the ability to practice law or medicine.
Rights can be impacted or taken away altogether:
- You can be denied Texas hunting and fishing licenses.
- You can be barred from purchasing, owning or otherwise possessing firearms.
- You may lose the right to foster or adopt a child.
- If you are not a natural born citizen, you may lose your legal status.
- You may not be considered the best option for the child in child custody cases.
Subsequent convictions may be enhanced:
- According to the Texas Penal Code, “A conviction, deferred adjudication, or successfully-completed probation for misdemeanor assault family violence can be used to enhance a subsequent family violence offense to a third-degree felony.” TEX. PEN. CODE §22.01(b)(2).
- An affirmative finding of family violence on even a Class C Misdemeanor allows the State to file the case as a felony charge.
Family Violence Charges cannot be expunged or sealed from your permanent record:
- Unlike some other charges, family violence findings will stay with you for life, not only limiting your freedom but damaging your reputation in the process.
If you have been charged with a family violence offense it is important to have proper legal representation. With over 20 years of legal experience, Price & Wiggins, P.C. can properly represent you and advise you of your rights. Without proper legal representation, you could be facing these serious consequences alone.