How a Domestic Violence Charge Can Affect Your Life
July 10, 2023
Domestic violence is everywhere, and it affects many households across the United States. In Texas, about 1 in 3 people will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. This means that it is likely for you or someone you know to be a victim of domestic violence—or be accused of it.
Unfortunately, domestic violence charges can not only lead to criminal liability but also cause serious disruption to your personal life, professional career, and financial situation.
If you're in Houston, Texas, or in neighboring areas like Harris, Montgomery, Galveston, Fort Bend, or Brazoria counties, this post will walk you through the reasons why you need a competent lawyer like Mekisha Jane Walker by your side to handle those domestic violence charges.
Domestic Violence in Texas
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another.
It can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and stalking. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these forms of abuse, do not hesitate to seek help.
In Texas, domestic violence crimes are prosecuted under various state laws, including assault, kidnapping, and murder. The state has specific provisions for domestic violence cases and cases involving physical assault against a family member, including protection orders that restrict the offender from contacting the victim.
These orders are essential to protect the victim from further abuse and can be enforced by law enforcement. The law also allows for the prosecution of an abuser based on threats, even if they do not physically assault the victim.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges
Domestic violence can result in misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the offense. Misdemeanor charges can result in up to one year in jail and fines, while felony charges can result in more extended jail time, significant fines, and a criminal record.
It is also important to note that a victim's statements can be admitted as evidence against the abuser, even if the victim does not want to testify in court. This is to protect victims who may feel intimidated or pressured to recant their statements.
So, what are the consequences of a domestic violence charge or assault conviction? Let's take a closer look at the huge impacts domestic violence charges can have on your life.
Depending on the severity of the charges, you could spend months or years behind bars. Even a short stay in jail can have serious consequences, including job loss, embarrassment, and damage to personal relationships.
Assault charges can also result in hefty fines that can put a significant financial strain on you and your family. These fines can be in addition to other court costs and fees that may come with a conviction.
Many domestic battery charges come with court-ordered probation. While this may seem like a better option than jail, it can still be challenging. Probation can restrict your freedom, limit your ability to travel, and require you to check in with a probation officer regularly.
Some family violence charges may also require you to attend treatment programs, such as anger management or substance abuse counseling. While these programs can be helpful for some, they can also be costly and time-consuming, making it difficult to maintain a job and personal relationships.
Loss of Child Custody/Visitation
Domestic violence charges can also result in the loss of child custody or visitation rights. If you are found guilty of domestic violence, the court may decide that you are not fit to care for your children and may award full custody to the other parent. You may also lose your visitation rights, leaving you unable to see your children at all.
Once you've been charged with domestic violence, the court may impose a restraining order against you. This order can limit your ability to contact the victim and may even require you to move out of your home. Violating a restraining order can result in additional criminal charges.
Loss of Job
Many employers will not tolerate an employee with a criminal record, especially one involving violence. This can make it challenging to find employment in the future.
If you're not a US citizen, a domestic violence conviction can result in deportation. Under U.S. immigration laws, domestic violence is considered a "crime of moral turpitude," which means that it reflects poorly on your character and can lead to deportation.
Loss of Gun Rights
If you're convicted of domestic violence, you may also lose your right to bear arms. Under the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, individuals convicted of domestic violence are prohibited from owning firearms, even if the conviction was for a misdemeanor.
Experienced Legal Advocacy: Walker Law Office
If you've been charged with domestic violence, don't wait to seek legal representation. The criminal defense attorney at Walker Law Office can help you navigate the complex legal system, protect your rights, and minimize the impact on your life.
Serving Houston and the surrounding counties, Mekisha Jane Walker is dedicated to providing her clients with the highest quality legal services.
Contact Walker Law Office today to schedule a consultation and begin the process of resolving your domestic violence case.