How Serious Are Domestic Violence Charges in Texas?
Domestic violence charges are some of the most serious charges that you can be charged with. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, they are treated uniquely as far as the consequences they will have on your criminal history if you are convicted or take a probation. For most crimes in Texas, if you have little criminal history or no criminal history, you can get something called a “deferred adjudication,” which is a type of probation where if you complete it successfully, you are not considered to have a conviction and your case can be sealed from public view. Law enforcement will be able to see it but regular employers won’t. There are a few crimes that cannot be sealed even if you do get a deferred adjudication, and domestic violence charges (i.e. assault on a family member charges) are one of those that can never be sealed.
What I tell my clients is there is little benefit to taking a deferred adjudication in an assault on a family member case. While you won’t have a conviction, you can never seal it off your record, so what’s the point? I would advise a client to take a deferred adjudication in a domestic violence case only if it were an extremely strong case for the state and the only way to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Otherwise, you’re best off trying to get a dismissal or a not guilty verdict at trial.
The second reason domestic violence charges are so serious is that state licensing agencies can revoke your license for a domestic violence conviction. For example, if you’re a nurse, you could lose your nursing license. Even if you don’t, very few employers are going to want to hire a nurse with a domestic violence conviction.
The third reason that these charges are so serious is that they often result in court orders that restrict where you can live and who you can contact while out on bond.
Finally, there’s the stigma that domestic violence charges bring with them. It’s one thing to have to explain to your friends, family, or coworkers that you’re dealing with a DWI or a possession of marijuana charge (people can understand and forgive that pretty quickly), but another thing entirely to explain you’ve been charged with assaulting your spouse or girlfriend. People—even people you’ve known for a long time—will start questioning your character. And it can take a while for that to go away, even with a dismissal or a not guilty verdict.
For more information on Severity Of Domestic Violence Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 936-4521 today.
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