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The potential consequences of child abuse cases in Lubbock will depend on the type of abuse that happened. If it is a misdemeanor, it will be called an information and a felony will include an indictment. Once an information or indictment is filed, the case comes to life in the criminal justice system and the individual should contact an experienced child abuse attorney.
The direct consequences are a handful of outcomes when a person is convicted of any crime, including when they are accused and an information or indictment has been filed for any crime. Through negotiation with the district attorney in a case, a person might be able to get a plea bargain entered that would put them on probation. This outcome means that the individual will be pleading guilty and ridding themselves of their constitutional right to a trial by jury, not self-incriminate and the right to cross-examine any witnesses.
Collateral Consequences of Felony Conviction
The direct consequences and outcomes for someone who goes to trial and loses includes having a permanent conviction on their record and any additional trophies. Conviction of a felony child abuse charge can be enhanced if it was deemed family or domestic violence. Collateral consequences consist of domestic violence convictions that include the loss of that individual’s civil rights. This can affect an individual’s divorce or custody proceedings due to the unwanted element of unsupervised visits with their child.
There can be a social stigma attached to anyone who cannot spend time with their child unsupervised. Consequences of child abuse cases in Lubbock and conviction can affect the type of communication the children have with their parent such as restricted electronic communication for texting and emailing. There is also a possibility of a conservator being appointed to the child.
An individual may find themselves having to pay spousal maintenance if the crime allegedly occurred within two years from the date of a divorce or while a divorce is pending. Spousal maintenance can be up to $2,500 a month or up to 20 percent of the person’s monthly income. Any other conviction within the previous two years of the alleged crime will automatically prohibit supervised contact.
Loss of Civil Rights and Licensing Agencies
According to federal law, the consequences of child abuse cases in Lubbock include losing their rights to a firearm or even to carry ammunition if they are convicted of a felony charge or a misdemeanor involving domestic violence. There are also occupational licenses if a person may want to be a real estate agent. Some of these occupations have licensing agencies. A crime of moral turpitude can affect a person’s ability to get a license or keep it. Individuals can also lose or not be able to pursue plumbing, nursing, or other occupations, depending on how that agency views things.
If a person is trying to become a US citizen, any crime of moral turpitude is going to affect a person’s immigration status. If a person ever wants to be in the military, it can affect a person’s eligibility for enlisting. If a person is in the military and they get into trouble for domestic violence, it is mandatory that it gets reported to higher-ups in the chain of authority and they will decide how they are going to respond.
Terms of Probation
A possible outcome for consequences of child abuse cases in Lubbock can be the possibility of probation. However, there is such a thing called a stay probation meaning a judge can lift the stay for any sort of probation violation and enforce the punishment that was initially stayed against the person rather than the probation itself. The judge will generally follow the plea bargain made with the prosecutor. That plea bargain will include a jail sentence and some terms of probation.
The jail sentence will be suspended, but it will hang over the person’s head, meaning if a person ever violates any terms of the probation, they pled guilty and that jail sentence that was suspended is now something available to the judge to punish the person. Included in a person’s terms of probation, will be fines, a minimum number of days to serve, classes and monthly meetings with a probation officer. In Lubbock, it is $50 a month to be in the community supervision or probation system.
Deferred adjudication means the guilt is deferred or put off. This means that the individual will need to go before the court and knowingly refuse their constitutional rights in order to make a deal with the prosecutor and the judge. The individual will essentially be admitting guilt, asking to not be found guilty in court in order to receive probation or restrictions other than jail time.
If the judge puts the person under deferred adjudication for two years and they can go the two years without getting into any major trouble, the judge can dismiss the case. An individual should discuss the possible consequences of child abuse charges in Lubbock to get a better understanding of what to avoid while on probation. Otherwise, the judge has the person’s guilty plea in their pocket and can find the person guilty and punish the person accordingly at that time. If the person lives out the terms and does not get into any more trouble, the case will be dismissed.
However, cases of domestic violence are often dealing with the penalties associated with protective orders. The person is dealing with the person who was abused, the relatives, and the friends. It is possible and more likely than in other types of criminal situations that a false accusation might arise against a person to try and gain some leverage in a custody situation or in a divorce because they know they have the person pinned down by this deferred adjudication. If the accuser gets caught, there will be penalties for falsely accusing the person.