The Unexpected Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Texas

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While Texas does not have any specific statutes that are labeled “domestic violence”, these crimes are generally prosecuted as misdemeanor assault charges. One important factor one must be aware of if facing domestic violence charges is that prosecutors do not need the accuser to move forward with prosecution in domestic assault charges. Anyone facing these charges should contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience with domestic violence cases because a conviction has serious consequences.

Charges You May Be Facing

In most cases, domestic assault or violence is charged as misdemeanors. When a victim has not suffered physical pain or long-term harm, they are considered a Class C misdemeanor and the offense can carry a $500 fine. Any sign of bruising, cuts or even red marks caused by a slap would be considered a Class A misdemeanor and a guilty plea or finding could mean up to a year in jail and fines of up to $4,000. Subsequent charges of domestic violence of those that include choking may result in a third-degree felony charge and a guilty finding could mean up to 10 years in a Texas penitentiary.

Additional Penalties Domestic Violence Penalties If Convicted

Unfortunately, fines and jail time may not be the only consequences a person is found guilty or pleas out on a domestic violence charge. Other penalties may have longer-term ramifications including:

  • Hunting/Fishing Licenses – Texas may deny anyone who has been convicted or pled guilty to domestic violence a hunting or fishing license. This right may not be restored.
  • Firearms Rights – In spite of the fact that firearms rights are protected under the 2nd Amendment, anyone who is found guilty of a domestic violence charge will lose their lifetime firearms rights. This is a law that was passed on the federal level known as the Lautenberg Amendment which has been in effect since 1996.
  • Family Rights – Anyone who has been convicted or pled guilty to a domestic violence charge and is going through a divorce or custody battle should be aware the criminal court is obligated to notify the family court. This could impact your ability to gain custody or impact your visitation rights.
  • Employment Issues – Those who are convicted could lose their security clearances, have difficulty with professional licenses and may lose their jobs as a result of a conviction. Teachers, bus drivers and day care providers may be unable to maintain employment in their current fields.
  • Criminal Record – Unlike many other misdemeanor charges, you cannot have a conviction for domestic violence expunged from your record. That means that a conviction or guilty plea will follow you for the rest of your life and may have an impact on your ability to secure housing, loans and employment.

The long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction are incredibly serious. While you may think that a misdemeanor conviction is not severe, there are unintended consequences when the charges involve family members. If you are facing any domestic violence charges in Texas, consult with the experienced legal team at the Hill Law Firm immediately by calling us at (713) 623-8312 or contact us online.

Posted in: Misdemeanors-Felonies