What are the Penalties of an Affirmative Finding of Family Violence?

By Bo Kalabus
bo@kalabuslaw.com
Office: 972-562-7549
Collin County 24-Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364
www.kalabuslaw.com
www.rosenthalwadas.com

An affirmative finding of family violence (AFV) on your record will drastically change your life. These types of cases should be taken seriously and defended aggressively considering the impact of a negative outcome can be incredibly far-reaching.

First, let’s start with what family violence is. Family violence as defined under the family code is “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 that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.” Tex. Fam. Code § 71.004. In a criminal case, the AFV will be used as tool by the State to enhance an assault charge.

Second, let’s look at the consequences of family violence. Taking an AFV on your record will cut your rights as a U.S. citizen cut in half. Among the consequences of a first offense of an AFV are:

• You can never be named as the “managing conservator” of a child in any divorce action or action requiring the placement of a child.

• You can never adopt a child under Texas law.

• You can never posses or transport a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

• If, at any time in the future you are charged with an assault against a family member or a member of your household or a person who qualifies under Texas law as a person with whom you have a “dating relationship”, that assault can be filed as a third degree felony offense regardless of the degree of physical injury.

Finally, an AFV charge is nothing to take lightly. If convicted your life will change forever. If facing such a situation, you should contact competent legal counsel to protect your rights.

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