Family Violence

Many people do not fully understand the seriousness of a Texas domestic or family violence crime until it's much too late. Texas family violence is defined as the reckless infliction of pain on a family or household member, which can simply involve two people who live together or are dating. The charges are filed by the police department, not by the abused person. In fact, the victim has no control over the charges at all. The victim of a family violence charge does not decide what happens with the case and cannot "drop" the charges. Only the prosecutor can decide not to proceed with the case.

Simply based on the arrest, an emergency protective order (EPO) can be put into effect, which usually requires that you stay a certain distance from the alleged victim at all times. The EPO remains effective for 60 days for a misdemeanor assault and 90 days for a felony assault, prohibiting you from returning to your home if you live with the alleged victim. Matters can be further complicated if you work together or have children together. The victim can also apply for a protective order (PO), which can be granted for a period of up to two years.

These severe punishments are imposed even before a conviction, which is why it's so important that you contact the Law Office of Betty Blackwell in Austin, Texas. Your case will be assigned to County Court of Law #4, which has been designated as the Travis County domestic abuse court. As a skilled trial lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law, Betty Blackwell has an extensive history with this court and can advise you about the best way to handle your family violence charge.

Family Violence Consequences

What happens if you're convicted of a Family Violence Assault?

Family violence convictions carry very serious punishments. Penalties include up to one year in the county jail or two years probation, and family violence findings on your record.

Under Federal law, those persons convicted of a criminal offense involving family violence cannot purchase or possess a firearm for the rest of their lives. (Texas law prohibits the possession of a firearm within five years of a family violence conviction.) Even if you successfully complete probation for family violence, you still have a conviction on your record for the rest of your life.

Employers have the absolute right to refuse to hire someone who is arrested or has a conviction for an assault. Employers have the right to terminate you from your job if you are arrested or convicted of a family violence assault. An assault can also affect where you can live. Landlords can refuse to rent to someone who has an assault on their record.

You should contact an experienced trial lawyer who understands the complexities of this system. Let me bring my over 30 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer to your case today.

Call the Law Office of Betty Blackwell in Austin, Texas for aggressive, qualified defense against your criminal charge. Call to schedule your free consultation with a Board Certified Criminal Lawyer.