Broadly speaking, family violence is defined as violence that occurs between household members, dating partners, or a child of the household. It usually comes up in cases of assault.
In these cases, a court can make a finding of family violence against the defendant. This can have some serious collateral consequences beyond the penalties of conviction. It can keep the defendant from owning a gun, hold an occupational license (like a teaching license), can hinder a path to citizenship, and can have serious family and child custody consequences.
Beyond that, a second charge of family violence can be elevated to a felony based on the previous conviction. Even if the original court did not make a specific finding of family violence, a subsequent court could still raise the stakes by independently proving the elements of family violence in the new case. Also, a family violence finding can be made even in cases where the defendant received deferred adjudication and was never convicted.
There are a host of other circumstances where a family violence finding can create havoc in your life, so it is important to understand these consequences before agreeing to any plea. If you or a loved one has been charged with assault in Travis, Williamson or surrounding counties, call 512-677-5003 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.