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Family Violence/Domestic Violence

JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > Family Violence/Domestic Violence

How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

When Your Job Is on the Line

 

Many criminal convictions can potentially affect your career prospects or even cause you to lose your job. Family violence (i.e. domestic violence) convictions, in particular, can wreak havoc on your professional life. They tend to carry a greater stigma than other convictions and raise more red flags in the eyes of employers. And in some fields, you can even lose your professional license due to a family violence conviction.

 

If you are facing family violence charges in Texas, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the ways a conviction can affect your career before you make any missteps in your case. While it’s always best to review the specific facts and circumstances of your case with a family violence attorney to get a good idea of what you could face, here’s some helpful information about how a family violence conviction can affect your career.

 

State-Licensed Employees

 

State-licensed employees include everyone from cosmetologists to electricians to teachers. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) runs background checks on all new license applications and renewal applications. It sets forth guidelines for determining whether license applicants are eligible based on their criminal convictions. The TDLR will forward any applications from candidates with a criminal conviction to an internal attorney for review. Generally speaking, TDLR will consider many factors, including:

 

  • The nature and seriousness of the crime
  • The relationship of the crime to the specific reason for obtaining the license
  • The extent to which the license may enable the applicant to engage in further criminal activity of the same type
  • The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity or fitness the applicant needs to carry out his or her duties in the specific profession

 

The time that has passed since the commission of the crime, the work conduct of the applicant before and after committing the offense, the evidence of the applicant’s rehabilitation and the facts and circumstance surrounding the offense will also be top considerations.

 

The bottom line is a family violence conviction can potentially impact your eligibility to obtain or renew a state-issued professional license. But every case is unique, so discuss your situation with an attorney to identify what factors may impact your eligibility and what you can do to minimize their impact.

 

Employees who are not state licensed should know that they will likely need to discuss such a conviction many times over their professional career. Family violence convictions are treated as serious crimes against persons, which can cause any employer to think twice about hiring or promoting someone who has committed such an offense. You will not be able to remove a family violence conviction from your record, and employers in some fields may deny applicants with a family violence conviction if it would put other employees, clients or customers at risk.

 

The most important take away here is that a family violence conviction carries significant stigma due to the nature of the relationship between the alleged offender and the accuser and the acts that are seen as family violence in the eyes of the law. Any conviction for a crime such as assault family violence, assault, kidnapping or harassment can cause employers to see you as a liability, especially if you work with people or are in a customer-facing role. Also, the TDLR will run a criminal background check on all applicants, no matter the occupation.

 

Consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney if you are facing family violence charges and have concerns about your job. Don’t overlook the potential collateral consequences of a family violence conviction, which have a far broader scope than the court-imposed penalties. Involving an attorney in your case ensures you explore and consider all your options for fighting your charges and protecting your career.

 

If you are facing family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your freedom and your career. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Defining the Family Violence Victim in Texas

Defining the Family Violence Victim in Texas

What Is a Family Violence Victim in Texas?

 

Texas family violence (i.e. domestic violence) laws utilize a broad definition of “family.” Many defendants are surprised to find they are facing family violence charges when the other participant in the conflict was not a spouse. In reality, family violence can occur between many family and household members other than spouses, expanding the reach and devastation a family violence conviction can have. It helps to define family violence under Texas statute and who are family violence “victims.” Without such a clarification, it can be difficult to know what you are up against when facing family violence charges.

 

Family Violence Explained

 

Texas statute defines family violence 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 assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.”

 

Modern families come in all configurations that transcend traditional roles, ties of relation and even households. While this definition is indeed broad, it does us no good unless we know who a family or household member is.

 

Under Texas Family Code §71.003, a family member is:

 

An individual related by consanguinity or affinity (i.e. blood relation or through marriage), an individual who is a former spouse, the parent of your child, regardless of marital status, or a foster parent and foster child, irrespective of whether those individuals reside together.

 

Under Texas Family Code 71.005, a household is:

 

A unit composed of people living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.

 

Don’t Fight These Charges Alone

 

I hear of many defendants facing criminal charges involving family violence shrug off the seriousness of their outlook. Many think as long as the accuser recants and agrees to “drop the charges” that their name will be cleared. This is not the case. Once the district attorney’s office files charges, there is little the accuser can do to stop the process. And if the accuser is a family or household member as defined by Texas statute, you have your work cut out for you.

 

The good news is a skilled Texas family violence defense attorney might be able to obtain a dismissal. These cases are rarely open and shut. To convict you of family violence, the prosecution must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt, such as intent and your relationship to the accuser. A seasoned attorney could potentially challenge either of these elements. Consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney with experience handling these types of cases. Inquire about the options he or she might suggest and their track record of success. It’s important to always fight family violence charges due to the long-term ramifications of a conviction.

 

If you are facing charges for family violence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action given your circumstances. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

The Effect of an Affirmative Finding of Family Violence (AFV)

The Effect of an Affirmative Finding of Family Violence (AFV)

The Aftermath of Family Violence

 

A conviction for an offense involving family violence can restrict your rights, affect your employment prospects and raise the stakes should you commit a subsequent offense. And those consequences are not limited to assault family violence convictions. A judge may also make an affirmative finding of family violence (AFV) in cases such as assault or sexual assault if the evidence establishes family violence was involved. Regardless of your specific charge, an AFV will remain a blemish on your criminal record indefinitely. Understanding the effects of an AFV requires we first understand how Texas defines family violence.

 

Under Texas Family Code §71.004, family violence is:

 

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 assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.

 

Enter the AFV

 

Certain offenses necessarily indicate family violence (e.g. assault family violence). But many other crimes against persons can involve family violence, such as assault, sexual assault and unlawful restraint but are not exclusively designated as family violence offenses. If convicted of any offense under Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code, however, the court can include an AFV in the judgment, which means family violence was involved. The AFV is then noted in your record and can have the same effects as a conviction for a family violence offense, including:

 

If the judge makes an AFV or the crime involves family violence in any way, the defendant is ineligible to petition for an Order of Nondisclosure for that specific offense or any subsequent offenses, no matter the nature. Please note that the judge is not required to make an AFV to render a defendant ineligible for a Nondisclosure. Trust us when we tell you this consequence alone is reason enough to fight your charges to the fullest extent. Unfortunately, the adverse effects of an AFV do not stop there.

 

The court can also use a prior conviction with an AFV as cause to enhance the sentencing for any future offense involving family violence. If you are convicted of sexual assault, for example, where the judgment included an AFV, you could face an “enhanced” (i.e. harsher) sentence if you committed another offense involving family violence in the future. Typically, this means your offense will be charged as a felony.

 

Among the other collateral consequences of an AFV include:

 

  • Loss of firearms rights (under both Texas and federal law)
  • Loss of the ability to be a managing conservator or joint conservator of a minor child
  • Loss of the right to foster or adopt a child under Texas law, and
  • Potential effects to your legal status in the US

 

Facing Charges for a Crime Involving Family Violence? Find a Legal Advocate Now!

 

AFV is sometimes used as an enhancement in assault cases, which raises the stakes of the conviction. If you are facing charges for a family violence offense, assault or any crime against persons, you need to contact an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney immediately. These cases are worth fighting due to the tremendous potential to damage your reputation and limit your rights. A seasoned family violence defense attorney can evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed with the goal of avoiding a family violence conviction or an AFV and the dire consequences that follow.

 

If you’re facing charges for a crime involving family violence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Pressing Charges in Texas: Does the Victim’s Voice Count?

Pressing Charges in Texas: Does the Victim’s Voice Count?

Who Files Family Violence Charges?

 

In domestic violence cases—also called family violence in Texas—it is not uncommon for the victim to call law enforcement to report the incident. Usually, they think a police officer will come, talk to their partner and help him or her cool down. What they infrequently realize, however, is that once law enforcement arrives on the scene, the series of events that follow are entirely out of their hands.

 

In Texas, crime victims do not formally “press charges” against the other person. In criminal cases, it is the State, specifically the district attorney’s office that files charges against people. Criminal cases are between the offender and the State, not the offender and the accuser. Because the accuser is not a party to the case, he or she does not have the authority to press or drop charges personally.

 

The Accuser’s Voice

 

Accusers play an invaluable role in family violence cases. Without their word, many people would never face criminal charges. Nevertheless, they have little leverage when it comes to the district attorney’s decision to file or dismiss charges. The district attorney’s office will primarily consider the responding officer’s report and other pieces of evidence that may have been submitted. The district attorney can decide to formally file misdemeanor charges or bring the matter before a grand jury for indictment for felony charges even without the accuser’s cooperation.

 

When the Accuser Recants

 

It is not uncommon for the accuser to later recant the allegation and ask that the charges be dropped. The district attorney will indeed listen to what the victim has to say. Most know, however, accusers often backtrack on their initial allegations when they realize the gravity of their actions. Suddenly, their boyfriend/girlfriend, partner or spouse is behind bars, facing serious criminal charges and prohibited from coming in contact with them. The accuser may also be fearful of the defendant seeking revenge upon release or of the consequences of losing the breadwinner of the family. In light of these possible motivations, district attorneys might not give the accusers’ voice much weight.

 

Call an Attorney if You Are Facing Family Violence Charges

 

Speak with a skilled Dallas-Fort Worth assault family violence defense attorney if you are facing charges. These cases can be dangerous to navigate on your own given the high stakes and the aggressive prosecution. Even when an accuser recants, the State can follow through with the prosecution. Usually, there is enough evidence to do so even when against the accuser’s wishes.

 

If you need help fighting your family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to fight your charges. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Assault vs. Aggravated Assault: The Difference and Why It Matters

Assault vs. Aggravated Assault: The Difference and Why It Matters

Assault is a common criminal charge in Texas but one that few people understand. Texas has a variety of assault charges categorized by numerous factors, including the facts and circumstances of the offense. Many people are familiar with the term “aggravated assault” but might not know how it’s distinguished from assault. To illustrate the primary differences, let’s take a look at how Texas defines these two offenses.

 

Defining Assault and Aggravated Assault

 

Texas defines assault as:

 

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, or
  • Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when that person knows or should reasonably believe the person would regard the contact as offensive or provocative in nature

 

Aggravated assault is legally defined as committing an act of assault, as defined above, and:

 

  • Causing serious bodily injury to another, or
  • Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault

 

To better understand the difference between these two charges, we’ll also define serious bodily injury.

 

Texas statute defines a serious bodily injury as:

 

  • Bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

 

In Texas, you can commit assault even if you don’t physically injure the victim. For example, you could face assault charges for something as minor as a shove. Conversely, for a court to convict you of aggravated assault, you must have either caused serious bodily injury or used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the assault.

 

These definitions should give you a better idea of the differences between assault and aggravated assault. If you are facing charges of assault, aggravated assault or assault family violence, you should work closely with a Texas assault defense attorney. These cases can be very fact specific, especially when trying to prove serious bodily injury. Thus, always speak with an attorney to learn about the important elements in your case and the evidentiary rules that could help or hurt your chances of clearing your name.

 

 

If you’re facing assault charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can move on with your life. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Responding to Domestic Disputes

 

When responding to reports of domestic disputes (i.e. family violence), law enforcement officers must proceed with caution to protect themselves and the alleged victim. Officers are trained in responding to reports of family violence and know how to secure the safety of the scene. An officer will be mainly concerned with protecting the victim, apprehending the aggressor and collecting information to build the case. The officer will typically arrest someone to accomplish all three of these objectives.

 

Automatic Arrests?

 

In the vast majority of domestic dispute responses, one party to the conflict will be arrested. Arresting someone ensures that the situation –whatever it may have been- will be diffused and the remaining person can be left in safety. Officers typically err on the side of the caution when deciding whether to make an arrest. Leaving the scene without an arrest can put someone at serious risk, especially if one of the participants in the dispute was the one who reported the incident.

 

Who Gets Arrested?

 

During a typical response to a report of family violence, a law enforcement officer will first attempt to identify the person they deem the aggressor. He or she may employ a variety of methods, such as observation and interrogation, to do so. The office will consider the aggressor to be the person who initiated the conflict, sustained the conflict or otherwise was the predominate instigator (and sometimes they consider the person who got the worst of it to be the aggressor). When identifying the aggressor, police officers will rely on the information received from dispatch and begin observing the scene from the moment they leave their squad car. They may stand outside the home and listen. Identifying the aggressor quickly is important, as officers can be at risks of assault, too.

 

Is an Arrest Imminent?

 

Again, law enforcement officers may use discretion when responding to a domestic dispute but typically won’t leave without ensuring everyone will be safe. To do this, they often make an arrest. No matter the participants’ in the incident wishes or the story given, law enforcement officers have a duty to protect. But police can make mistakes, and alleged aggressors are often wrongfully accused. Remember; just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean there is enough evidence to convict you. In fact, an experienced assault family violence attorney can usually obtain a dismissal in most of these types of cases. Therefore, if you find yourself facing family violence charges, it’s wise to speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth assault family violence defense attorney. An attorney can explain how you can fight false or exaggerated allegations and defend your rights.

 

 

If you’re facing family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Loss of Firearm Rights and Family Violence Convictions

Loss of Firearm Rights and Family Violence Convictions

Consequences of Family Violence

 

Federal law prohibits anyone with a felony conviction, a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction or who is subject to a domestic violence protective order from possessing firearms. The State of Texas plays a role in enforcing this law and places similar restrictions on the firearms rights of those with domestic violence (i.e. family violence) convictions or those subject to protective orders. Indeed, this is one of the lesser-known consequences of a family violence conviction but not one that is without impact, especially in one of the most heavily armed states in the country.

 

A Flaw in the Law

 

Prohibiting firearm possession isn’t always enough. Texas does not have a law requiring those prohibited from possessing firearms to turn guns and ammunition in. In some states, defendants must bring their firearms to the police department or to a licensed buyer and provide the court with proof. Also, you can still purchase guns from sellers or dealers who don’t run background checks even if you lose your firearm rights.

 

That said, enforcement of this law is difficult in Texas and relies on factors such as proper reporting and steep penalties for offenders. While Texans may not be required to provide proof they relinquished their firearms, they can face harsh penalties if they are caught unlawfully possessing a firearm. Unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in a local or county jail and potentially a fine of up to $4,000.

 

Don’t Want to Lose Your Firearm Rights? Fight Your Charges

 

The only way to avoid losing your firearm rights is to avoid a family violence conviction. Now, we realize that is easier said than done. But talking to a skilled family violence defense attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is a good starting point. Due to the long-lasting (and far-reaching) consequences of a family violence conviction, we recommend you thoroughly discuss your case before you enter a plea. An attorney can explain the penalties you could face for a conviction in addition to the various collateral consequences, such as loss of firearms rights.

 

If you’re facing family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

5 Deportable Offenses You Might Not Know About

5 Deportable Offenses You Might Not Know About

Anyone facing criminal charges may be rightfully concerned with incarceration, fines and incurring a permanent criminal record. For noncitizens, however, these serious consequences are just the beginning. Noncitizens can face potential immigration consequences, including deportation or inadmissibility if convicted of certain crimes. To better understand how criminal charges can affect your immigration status, let’s take a look at five deportable offenses that could lead to deportation as well as the broad categories of crimes that impact immigration.

 

Convictions That Could Affect Your Immigration Status

 

Generally speaking, under US immigration law, an immigrant can face deportation or inadmissibility if convicted of certain crimes, mainly crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies. Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) are crimes that typically involve an intent to cause bodily injury, permanent deprivation of property, lewd intent, recklessness, fraud or deceit. Aggravated felonies are less clearly defined and can include crimes such as murder or certain crimes involving a deadly weapon or destructive device. Both these categories of crimes can be difficult to pin down, as their definitions under Texas law and U.S. immigration law may not be identical. But, to give you a general idea, examples of crimes that could potentially affect your immigration status and lead to deportation include:

 

  1. Family Violence (i.e. Domestic Violence)
  2. Child Abuse or Neglect
  3. Violation of a Protective Order
  4. Stalking
  5. Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

 

This list is only a snapshot of the many criminal convictions that can lead to deportation, many of which are relatively common crimes. The bottom line is you never know how a criminal charge could impact your ability to stay in or return to the US until you’ve spoken with an attorney.

 

Don’t Face Charges for Deportable Offenses Alone

 

It’s vital for any Texan facing criminal charges to speak with an attorney. The consequences of a criminal conviction are severe and far-reaching. Noncitizens face a potential impact on their immigration status, depending on the nature of the offense, how long they’ve been in the US and many other factors. Thus, if you are a noncitizen concerned about criminal charges, you need to talk to an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney right away. Specifically, find an attorney who will aggressively protect your rights.

 

Navigating these types of cases can be difficult—if not impossible—to do on your own. Find an attorney whose goal is to obtain a dismissal or an outcome that would otherwise preserve your legal status in this country. This will require an intimate understanding of the nuances in Texas criminal statutes.

 

If you are facing charges for deportable offenses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Emergency Protective Orders in Texas: Watching Your Step

Emergency Protective Orders in Texas: Watching Your Step

A Look at Emergency Protective Orders

 

In an assault family violence (i.e. domestic violence) case, the judge will often issue an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). Emergency Protective Orders can make it illegal for the offender to return home and fulfill his or her familial responsibilities. And in the wake of an assault case, that can make it difficult if not impossible to move on from your mistake and get back to your life. Fortunately, there may be ways you can mitigate the negative effects an EPO will have on your life.

 

The “Stay Away” Order

 

The offender may be prohibited from coming within a specified proximity of the alleged victim, including his or her home and workplace. So when the offender and victim live together or share parenting responsibilities, EPOs affect the whole family. Furthermore, a person who violates an EPO can face serious consequences, including new charges, fines, and jail time. Due to this very real concern, our firm fields calls every day from offenders who want to know if they can lift the EPO so they can return home lawfully. Here’s some helpful information we provide.

 

Always Follow Your EPO

 

You have to follow your EPO, even if you live with the victim. If your EPO is making it difficult for you to return to your home life or fulfill your familial responsibilities, speak with an attorney about your options before you violate it. In the event that you choose not to follow the EPO, you risk being re-arrested and charged with violating the protective order (a Class A misdemeanor unless there are some aggravating factors proven). Generally speaking, a person gets caught violating a protective order when someone calls the police to notify them of such a violation.

In our experience, if a couple chooses to violate the EPO and there are no calls made which notify the police or court of the violation, then it goes unnoticed. Yet, this is a big gamble to take with your freedom when you cannot say for certain whether or not someone will report to you to the authorities for violating the EPO.

 

Ask the Court for Relief

 

In these situations, you might be able to ask the court to lift or amend (modify) the EPO. Following an assault family violence offense, the judge will be hesitant to lift your EPO outright. EPOs serve an important purpose. They protect the victim of the assault from further harm. But if the victim does not need or want the protection and the EPO is preventing the offender from fulfilling certain responsibilities, you may ask the judge to amend it to ease the burden.

 

EPOs typically contain a number of restrictions and conditions, which may or may not be necessary. If the victim consents, the judge can lift certain conditions, such as being prohibited from returning home, while keeping others in place, like refraining from committing future acts of assault. This way, the judge can ensure the EPO still provides valuable protections without removing the opportunity to pursue legal recourse should the offender assault the victim again.

 

It is important to realize that such an amendment is quite rare! Therefore, the EPO will more than likely remain in place.

 

Questions About Emergency Protective Orders in Texas?

 

Remember, you must follow an EPO for its duration. But if you want to learn about how you can amend your EPO, consult with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you take steps to minimize your chances of violating your EPO.

 

If you have an EPO in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Repeat Domestic Violence Offender in Texas? You Could Face Continuous Family Violence Charges

Repeat Domestic Violence Offender in Texas? You Could Face Continuous Family Violence Charges

Repeat Offenders Can Face Serious Charges

 

The State of Texas takes family violence (i.e. domestic violence) very seriously. Thus, punishments for family violence offenses are harsh and geared toward rehabilitating the offender and preventing future harm. Not surprisingly, if you are a repeat domestic violence offender in Texas, expect the court to charge with you continuous family violence and enhance those penalties significantly. Now let’s take a look at the specifics of this offense and the penalties you could face for a conviction.

 

What Is Continuous Family Violence?

 

Continuous violence against the family is a charge that applies to repeat family violence offenders. Under Texas Penal Code §25.11, a person can be charged with continuous violence against the family if he or she commits assault against a family or household member two or more times within a 12 month period. The second or subsequent offense does not have to be against the same victim. It can be against any member of your family or household, as defined by law under Texas Family Code §71.003.

 

Who Is a Family or Household Member?

 

To be charged under PC §25.11, the alleged victim must be a family or household member. A household is defined as a group of people residing in one dwelling unit, who may or may not be related. Members of a family can include people who are related by consanguinity or affinity, parents of the same child, former spouses, or are a foster parent or foster child.

 

Enhancing the Penalties

 

Continuous family violence is a third-degree felony in Texas and is punishable by between two and ten years of incarceration by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The court may also impose a fine of no more than $10,000.

 

Continuous family violence is a serious charge in Texas. Thus, it’s essential you work closely with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney whenever facing family violence charges. To avoid the life-changing consequences of a felony conviction, it’s important to explore all your options for fighting your charges before you make any decisions in your case. An attorney can help you do this so that you minimize the negative consequences of your charge.

 

If you are facing continuous family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.