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Posts tagged "Family Violence"

Johnny Depp Nasty Divorce

Actor Johnny Depp is in more of a pickle than what came out in the news recently. His soon to be ex-wife Amber Heard of a total of 15 months indicated that Depp was emotionally and physically abusive throughout their short marriage.  In fact, she rolled into court today with her lawyers sporting a black eye.  Heard indicated that she was on the phone with a girlfriend when Depp snatched it out of her hand in a fit of rage and she screamed for her girlfriend to call 911.

Parole Eligibility

If there is an affirmative finding that a deadly weapon was used during the offense, then that can affect the accused's parole eligibility date if he/she is sent to prison.  If there is a deadly weapon finding, then the accused must serve a minimum of one half (1/2) of his/her prison sentence.  The legislature thought that a person who uses a weapon to commit a crime should be punished more harshly than a person who did not use a weapon to achieve their goal.  
Over the years, the deadly weapon statute has been continuously expanded to engulf virtually any felony offense, included non-intentional offenses like DWI manslaughter and possession cases.

Family Violence Conviction Consequences

Much like Capital Murder and DWI law, family violence has developed its own body of law over the years.  For example, the Family Code has expanded its definition of what constitutes "domestic violence" or "family violence" to persons who are not "related" in the traditional sense.  A person is a member of a family if they are related by consanguinity (blood) or affinity, if they are former spouses of each other, if they are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage or if they are a foster child or foster parent without regard to whether they reside together.  If also includes persons who are dating, and those who have previously lived in a household.

Under Texas divorce law, a person is generally not entitled to spousal maintenance unless they have been married for at least ten (10) years.  However, section 8.051 of the Family Code provides for spousal maintenance to a spouse who has been the victim of family violence, regardless of how long the couple was married.  For purposes of that statute, deferred adjudication is as good as a conviction.

If a person has a "history of domestic violence," the court hearing any Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship must deny the offender access to the child under the Family Code.  In addition to the denial of  access, the Court may consider any evidence of abuse occurring within two (2) years of filing for divorce when determining  whether to appoint managing conservators.  If there is credible evidence that family violence has occurred during this time period, the court may not appoint joint managing conservators. 

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