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Prior Conviction of Domestic Violence

If you have been convicted or received deferred adjudication for an assault family violence case, a second domestic violence charge will likely be filed as a Third Degree Felony. Many people do not realize that even if they are not convicted, but are instead placed on deferred adjudication probation (even non-reporting probation) they have a “conviction” for purposes of enhancing a second domestic violence case. The second assault case does not have to be against the same person and there is no time limit on how far back the government can go in your record.

The government is required to prove that you have a previous “conviction,” but in most cases this is not difficult because they can simply offer a judgment that has previously been entered against you. In most cases the government is very limited about telling jurors about any of your criminal history in the guilt/innocence phase of an assault trial. However, because the prior “conviction” for assault is a part of the requirement for the case to be filed as a felony, the government can let the jury know about the assault starting in jury selection. This can prejudice jurors from the beginning of trial. This is one of the many reasons you need a skilled assault family violence lawyer defending your assault case.

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