Many residents of San Antonio know someone who has been accused of a crime related to domestic violence.

Family life and relationships can be very stressful, and it’s not uncommon for domestic strife to reach a boiling point. Even Texans who have otherwise lived productive lives can find themselves facing a criminal charge in state court related to domestic violence.

Even in the case of a first-time misdemeanor offense, the legal fallout from a conviction can haunt a person for a long time, even for the rest of his or her life.

For instance, federal law prohibits anyone who has a misdemeanor assault or battery conviction related to domestic violence from owing or possessing a firearm. Although there are some exceptions, the law has no time limits for old convictions

Likewise, for those who are parents of children, a conviction for a crime related to domestic violence can affect their ability to have the custodial arrangement they want with their children. In some cases, a conviction could even mean that a parent will not be allowed to see their children without professional supervision.

The bottom line is that no one accused of a crime stemming from a domestic dispute should brush it off as a one-time mistake from which someone can just move on. Instead, they should evaluate their legal options carefully.

After all, aside from the possibility of jail, probation, fines and fees, a conviction can serious impact a person’s professional standing and personal life. It may even permanently affect their ability to have a relationship with their children.