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Do Not Plead Guilty to Family Violence Charges in Travis County, Texas

Many individuals accused of family violence in Travis County and throughout Texas believe they are trapped and must plead guilty to domestic violence charges to make the whole thing go away.

This is not always the case. In Travis County nearly 65% of cases of family violence cases were reduced or dismissed, and less than 2% of these cases went to trial in the past 10 years.

In the State of Texas, a family violence conviction comes with life-altering consequences that could affect multiple facets of a person’s life, including their child custody rights, ability to acquire a job, and constitutional right to gun ownership.

If you have been accused of misdemeanor family violence, felony family violence, domestic violence, spousal abuse, or any related offense against a family member family member in Texas, it is important that you secure an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Attorney Kevin Bennett has successfully represented clients faced with family violence charges throughout Travis County, including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, or a surrounding city in Texas. Call the Law Office of Kevin Bennet today at (512) 476-4626 to receive your free confidential consultation.

What is Family Violence in Austin, Texas?

In the State of Texas, “domestic violence” is often referred to by the legal system as “family violence”. However, family violence laws do not only apply to family members and spouses, but also individuals residing in the same household (such as roommates), those related by blood or affinity, and people that were in a “dating relationship” at the time of the offense.

According to the Texas Family Violence Statute (Penal Code, Title 4, Chapter 71, Section 71.004), “Family Violence” is defined as:

  • An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household,
  • That is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or
  • A threat that reasonably places the family member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.

What does Dating Violence mean in Travis County, Texas?

Family violence laws do not only apply to family members and spouses, but also individuals residing in the same household (such as roommates), those related by blood or affinity, and people that were in a “dating relationship” at the time of the offense. An assault or a physical act of violence against a person engaged in a dating relationship is known as “dating violence”.

A “dating relationship” is defined as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of:

  • The length of the relationship;
  • The nature of the relationship; and
  • The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

“Dating violence” is an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:

  • Is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:
  • With whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or
  • Because of the victim’s or applicant’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and
  • Is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

Consequences of Family Violence in Travis County

When imposing a penalty for family violence, the court considers certain factors, but not limited to:

  • The victim’s relationship to the defendant;
  • The defendant’s past family violence convictions, or lack thereof; and
  • Whether the victim was suffocated or strangulated

If convicted of a family violence charge, certain consequences could result, including, but not limited to:

  • Loss of custody rights to children
  • Denial of job opportunities
  • Denial of housing applications
  • Fine of up to $500 -$10,000 and up to 2 – 20 years in prison, depending if classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense
  • Loss of right to own or possess a firearm

As you can see, the consequences of a family violence conviction can be life-altering. It is important that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to preserve your case.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett has successfully represented clients facing family violence and dating violence charges throughout Travis County, including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, and Hornsby Bend. Call the Law Office of Kevin Bennet today at (512) 476-4626 to receive your free confidential consultation.

Experienced Attorneys Make a Difference in Austin, Texas

According to recent statistics, 65% of felony family violence cases were either reduced or dismissed in Austin, TX and less than 2% of family violence cases in Travis County during the past decade went to trial.One could contribute this data to knowledgeable attorneys guiding their clients through the legal process and fighting for their rights. Family violence and assault on a family member charges are a serious matter, but hope is not lost.

Attorney Kevin Bennett has a proven track record of success when his clients are faced with family violence allegations. Hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could help you avoid paying a fine, going to prison, and having a family violence conviction on your record that would prevent you from owning a gun.

If you are facing pending family violence charges in Austin, TX or in Travis County, you would benefit from having an experienced attorney on your side. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett has successfully represented clients facing family violence charges throughout Travis County, including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, and Hornsby Bend. Call the Law Office of Kevin Bennet today at (512) 476-4626 to receive your free confidential consultation.

Free resources are also at your disposal if you have found yourself or a family member a victim of family violence. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

References:

http://www.thehotline.org/

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-domestic-violence-laws.html

http://www.itemonline.com/news/felony-charge-often-reduced-for-domestic-abusers/article_ce25717c-4154-11e6-a94e-7b7f753e5661.html

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