What Are The Consequences Of Having A Domestic Violence Case On My Record?
There are many consequences to having a domestic violence conviction on your record or having a family violence finding made against you as its defined in the Texas Family Code § 71.0021. Some of the obvious conviction consequences are enhanceability which means that if you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, typically a charge of assault bodily injury family violence, the first time that you get charged with it is a misdemeanor. It’s a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in County jail with up to a $4000 fine. However, if you have a prior conviction for domestic violence on your record, the second time that you are accused of it is enhanced up to a 3rd degree felony which is punishable by up to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections or prison and a minimum of 2 years in TDC. It’s also punishable by up to a $10,000 fine.
So, a lot of times when people are charged with domestic violence for their first time offense, prosecutors may offer them a deal, a plea bargain. If they plead guilty, they’ll take a sentence of time served, usually just one day in jail or a $1 fine and a lot of people are tempted to accept this type of plea deal. However, we strongly advise against it and almost always advise our clients to go forward to trial rather than plead guilty and accept a conviction on your record. Additionally, having a conviction on your record will have an impact on your gun rights for the remainder of your life. The 2nd amendment of the constitution gives you the right to carry and possess firearms. However, if you have a conviction for domestic violence on your record, you can no longer possess firearms or ammunition for the remainder of your lives under both Texas and Federal Law.
It’s punishable as a felony, if you are caught in possession of a firearm when you have a prior domestic violence conviction. The third most common consequence that we repeatedly see with people who have prior convictions for domestic violence on their record is the interference it causes with their ability to obtain housing and employment. Tons of apartment complexes will not lease you an apartment if you have a conviction for domestic violence. Additionally, there are tons of jobs from employers who never offer a job to somebody who has a prior conviction for family violence. There are a lot of different professions in the state of Texas that require a professional license.
To be a barber, you have to have a barber’s license, to be a plumber, you have to have a plumber’s license and of the 230+ different professions that are regulated by licenses in the state of Texas, many of them will not allow you to obtain a license if you have a prior conviction for domestic violence.
The consequences do not stop there, however. Additionally, if you have a prior family violence finding made against you, you will be unable to seal any other criminal records of yours going forward. Finally, Domestic Violence is considered what is called a crime of moral turpitude. Normally we think of things like Theft, Fraud, and crimes involving deception as crimes of moral turpitude, but additionally, committing an assault against a woman, regardless of the gender of the defendant, is also considered a crime of moral turpitude. Crimes of moral turpitude can affect employment, but additionally, they are the main type of crime that can be brought up in the future if you are ever called to the stand to testify (e.g. in your defense if you were ever charged with this offense in the future), and can be used to indicate that your testimony is not to be trusted.
That is why we recommend you never plead guilty to domestic violence without consulting with an attorney and we almost always recommend that you do not accept a plea bargain and you do not plead guilty or even no contest, but instead go forward to the trial before pleading guilty and accepting a conviction on your record.
For more information on Consequences Of Domestic Violence Conviction, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 478-9898 today.
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