Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
Family violence accusations in Texas are serious. From steep fines to prison time, a criminal conviction for a domestic violence crime can result in several severe criminal penalties. Not only will the offender face the criminal penalties for domestic violence, but nearly every aspect of the alleged offender’s career and social life is bound to be affected by the domestic violence conviction on their record.
A domestic violence conviction can cause many challenges outside of the criminal aspect. Aside steep fines and incarceration, being convicted with domestic violence can often result in the loss of or inability to obtain a professional license, loss of civil rights, and a difficult time gaining employment. It could even affect your ability to obtain a home loan or approval for an apartment.
Domestic Violence Houston Defense Attorney | Consequences of a Conviction
If you are arrested for domestic violence or another violent crime, it’s time to protect your rights. Criminal defense attorney Matt Horak has helped countless Texans accused of domestic violence crimes. He will fight relentlessly and use his skills for the justice you deserve.
Horak Law defends client throughout the greater Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Liberty County, or Waller County. Call (713) 225-8000 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Texas domestic violence lawyers are prepared to discuss your case.
- Domestic Violence Crimes in Texas
- Consequences of Domestic Violence Conviction in Houston, TX
- Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
- Additional Resources for Domestic Violence
Many people believe that domestic violence is merely physical violence, but that just isn’t true. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors usually committed to gain power and control over a spouse, family member, or household member. Domestic violence crimes can often include sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It does not exclude any individual due to sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, or gender. The act does not have to be committed against a person’s immediate family either. Household members, ex-spouses, grandparents, siblings, and foster children can all be subject to domestic violence.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence in a relationship can vary, but nonetheless, it remains a crime that carries severe repercussions. In 2016, more than 4,100 arrests were made related to domestic violence and offenses against family and children in Texas.
Some common domestic violence crimes in Texas include:
- Unlawful restraint
- Criminal trespass
- Simply battery
- Aggravated battery
According to the Texas Family Law Code 71.004, family violence is defined as:
- An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault; or
- A threat that places a family or household member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; or
- Abuse by a family or household member toward a child of the family or household; or
- Violence towards someone you’re dating or in an intimate relationship with
An individual charged with a domestic violence conviction should expect to face serious consequences. The charges for assault family violence generally range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the specifics of the case. If the alleged offender is charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, they can face up to 1 year in state jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
If they are charged with a third-degree felony, the prison time can range from 2 to 10 years with fines of up to $10,000. The offense can be enhanced to a second or even first-degree felony if certain factors were present during the commission of the crime. The sentencing guidelines for a first or second-degree domestic violent crime includes:
Second-Degree Felony – 2 to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
First-Degree Felony – 5 to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
Although most Texans are aware that a domestic violence conviction can result in steep fines and prison time, they often forget about the crime’s collateral consequences. It’s important to note there a handful of collateral consequences for a domestic violence conviction. For example, it may be harder to find work because future employers may not hire someone based on their criminal record. It might also be more difficult to obtain or retain a professional license.
A conviction can also prevent an individual from owning firearms. The statutes prohibit Texans from owning a firearm if they’ve been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Any future possession of a firearm after the fact is illegal and could result in additional criminal charges.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, the best thing to do is to contact a domestic violence lawyer with a proven track record of successful outcomes.
Houston Area Women’s Center – For over 43 years, this nonprofit organization in Houston has been keeping women, children and families safe from abuse. Visit the website to learn more about domestic violence, sexual assault, and counseling services. You’ll also be read recent news and learn ways you can get involved.
Texas Penal Code: Offenses Against the Family – Click the link to view Chapter 25 of Texas Penal Code and learn more about common offenses committed against the family. This chapter also includes penalties for convictions of such crime and specific definitions in relation to the crimes.
Texas Abuse Hotline – Click this link to report suspicions of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, adults with disabilities, or people 65 years or older. The Department of Family and Protective Services provides this secure website to all Texans that would like to report a situation that does not need to be investigated right away. The webpage advises that if your situation is urgent and needs to be investigated within 24 hours to call the Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400).
Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are under investigation for domestic violence, you are likely very stressed. Punishments for this conviction can be severe. We advise you obtain a Houston criminal defense attorney with Horak Law as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Attorney Matt Horak represents individuals throughout Houston and the Woodlands, TX. He also represents clients in Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Liberty County, and Waller County. Call us today at (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free consultation and discuss the specific facts of your case.