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Don’t let family violence allegations affect your open carry rights
False allegations of domestic violence could impact your ability to legally carry a weapon in Texas.
Imagine you are involved in a contested divorce proceeding. Emotions are running high on both sides, and you and your spouse are unable to agree on key issues like child custody, visitation/parenting time, asset division and who will stay in the marital home. You may find yourself going back and forth, with the anger you both feel fostering a situation where neither of you is willing to compromise, and there being no end in sight. In an attempt to gain an advantage in the heated negotiations, one of you – statistically much more likely to be the wife – could make a false allegation that some form or domestic or family violence has been committed.
This unproven allegation doesn’t need to be well-planned or meticulously executed to be effective. The person making the statement could very well regret it the moment it comes out of her mouth, but once that ball is rolling, it is nearly impossible to slow it without effective, aggressive, skillful legal representation. The implications of a family violence allegation – even one that is ultimately proven negative – are far-reaching.
Immediate and long-term consequences
Something that could happen immediately upon an allegation of family violence or assault being made is that you could be arrested. If police are called to the scene, then an arrest is usually made. After all, they can’t very well take the chance that a crime will be committed in the near future and they didn’t take action to stop it. Once that happens, you have an arrest record to deal with, even if no charges are filed against you. Though you may be able to get that record expunged in the future, there is still a “black mark” that you must deal with.
Following an arrest, the district attorney must decide whether or not to file criminal charges. If there is little or no supporting evidence, it is possible that your attorney can get the case dismissed without charges, but there is still the chance. In the meantime, it is possible that a protective order will be issued against you, which could force you to leave your home and might limit the contact you have with your children.
Another immediate impact of a family violence arrest and subsequent issuance of an order for protection is that you may have to give up your legally licensed firearms. Texas wholeheartedly embraces the Second Amendment, and the right to openly carry a weapon is one that tens of thousands of Texans enjoy. Federal law, however prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor-level domestic violence from possessing a firearm; if you are facing family violence-related allegations, even ones that are actually false and brought in bad faith, you need to know that a conviction might mean that you can’t legally carry a firearm ever again.
Because of the serious legal consequences that accompany any domestic violence-related charges, not to mention the public stigma associated with these crimes, a vigorous defense of these allegations is crucial to protecting your good name, your rights and your freedom. Having the assistance of an attorney like those at Scott M. Brown & Associates – someone who understands the interplay between the family and criminal justice systems – can help ensure that you are fighting against all the broad-ranging implications of such accusations.