How Does It Affect My Gun Rights If I Was Placed On Deferred Adjudication For Family Violence?
Deferred adjudication is a type of probation which does not have an associated conviction. In a deferred adjudication case, the judge has sufficient evidence to find you guilty, but chooses to accept your plea of no contest or guilty and agrees to ultimately not find you guilty as long as you successfully complete the probation. For most cases, this means that you won’t have a conviction on your record and you can have the offense sealed. However, family violence is different. In addition to not being able to get the offense sealed, the family violence finding that is associated with being on probation for the offense is not deferred. This means that all of the consequences associated with a family violence finding still apply.
It is the Western District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s opinion to (now retired) Judge Denton in Travis County that a family violence charge won’t count as a conviction for federal purposes if it’s deferred. For his purposes, he would say that he wouldn’t charge people, but this won’t necessarily be the case in other federal districts, and frankly is not in any way binding. For state purposes in Texas, the family violence finding is sufficient to charge you with an enhanced offense in the future, and even if you received deferred adjudication and were never convicted of the offense, the family violence finding alone would bar you from possessing firearms.
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