When Texas Courts Make a Family Violence Finding?

I find that one thing confuses more clients than almost any other aspect. When can the court find that a person committed family violence? It is unacceptable for any person to plead guilty if the person is confused about the consequences of a plea. In cases with family violence, the consequences can be dire. Family violence findings will limit a person’s ability to possess a firearm in most cases. If they do possess a firearm, they can be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

When can courts make family violence findings?

A court can make a finding of family violence in the judgment the court enters at the end of the case. However, a court cannot make such a finding for every offense. There are some offenses that could never involve domestic violence. For instance, drug possession or gambling offenses could never involve family violence.

Courts can only make a family violence finding with offenses under chapters 19 through 22 of the Texas penal code. This includes offenses like assault, unlawful restraint, or terroristic threats. After a plea to any of these offenses, a court can make a finding of family violence.

Are there any other consequences?

If a person is previously convicted of a family violence offense, later charges could be enhanced. This means that what might originally have been a misdemeanor could be charged a felony. This often depends upon what happened in the course of the offense.

The consequences of domestic violence cases are severe. I believe that it is very important for any person fully understand all of the consequences of a plea before they decide whether or not to plead guilty.

If you would like a free one hour consultation, call my office at 817-231-0023.

Also make sure to read our article “Are Domestic Violence Charges a Felony in Fort Worth?” 

For information about the Tarrant County District Attorney – Domestic and Family Violence Unit visit http://www.tarrantda.com/?page_id=124.

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