Even someone who has never been in trouble with the law before should take a charge related to domestic violence seriously.
For one, jail is always a possibility. Even if it is taken off the table, a person will still likely have probation and may also have to pay fines, fees and other penalties. This is true even in a case where there are no aggravating circumstances like a serious physical injury.
The person may also have to attend counseling or classes at their expense and may be subject to a no contact order.
A parent convicted of a domestic violence crime may lose custody
Moreover, in Texas, family courts are not supposed to award conservatorship, that is, child custody, to a parent who has a track record for abuse against the other parent of the child.
Frequently, domestic violence charges stem from arguments between parents. If one parent gets credibly accused, the other parent may request that the accused not have decision-making authority to determine the child’s healthcare, education, religion and the like.
Moreover, if the history of violence is recent, that is, within the previous 2 years, then the court may even restrict the parent’s parenting time.
After a criminal conviction, it is hard for a parent going through a family law proceeding to deny that he committed domestic violence.
While there may be some other alternatives, a parent may be almost forced to fight a criminal charge involving domestic abuse if he wants to be able to have a relationship with his children.
A domestic violence conviction could also make holding a job more difficult
Additionally, a parent with a conviction may find it more difficult to find or hold a job. In fact, there are certain professions and trades that could be off limits to a person with a domestic violence conviction depending on the circumstances.
Of course, if a professional loses her job and cannot find another one because of her conviction, it will seriously impact her ability to provide for her family.
Houston parents accused of domestic violence should consider their legal options carefully.