Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

Assault Family Violence

Posted By on October 11, 2008

Assault Family Violence is a crime that’s gotten a lot of attention from the media.  And, unfortunately, the law enforcement and legislative response hasn’t always been what it should be.  Often, the incident that sparks an arrest is not what most people would consider  an “assault”, but is an argument that leads to pushing or shoving.  The police, however, are under a mandate to make an arrest, and once they’ve figured out who they think is most responsible (or complaining the least), he (or she) may find himself (or herself) handcuffed in the back of a police car.  The arrest then sets in motion a machine that can be difficult to escape from.

It’s important to minimize the damage an arrest for family violence can cause, but unfortunately, people don’t always realize the consequences of an assault family violence case.

An arrest for family violence can lead to an automatic protective order, which may prohibit you from going back to your home.  The state doesn’t need the permission of a victim to enter a protective order.  The order may be entered at the request of a police officer, a prosecutor, or on a judge’s own motion, without a request from anyone.

A protective order can only be modified or revoked by a judge.  The victim cannot give you permission to be around him, or her, or to go back to your home.

It’s illegal to have a gun, if there’s a protective order against you.  It’s also illegal to have a gun, if you’ve ever been convicted of assault family violence.  This is particularly important if you’re in the armed forces, or are a police officer, or are thinking about a career in the military or law enforcement.

A second family violence case, even for pushing or shoving, is prosecuted as a third degree felony, and can lead to prison time.

A conviction for family violence can have a profound effect on a divorce or child custody case.

You will never be eligible for an order of Non-Disclosure, in the event the court grants a deferred adjudication probation, even if you complete the probation successfully, and the case is ultimately dismissed.

If you’re accused of family violence, whether you’re a man or a woman (and women are increasingly finding themselves in handcuffs, in the back of a police car), it’s imperative you obtain a resolution to the case, whether it’s a reduction, an acquittal, a dismissal, or a deferred prosecution, that will minimize the long-term consequences of the accusation.


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