Texas  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 10/30/13, 10:16 am

Hello, I live in Texas. This past weekend my wife and I got in a verbal altercation in our backyard. Our neighbor called the police after hearing over the fence. When the police arrived, they questioned us both. They pulled my wife to the side and played word games with her. They asked her if I threatened her or touched her. She told them I put my hand on her shoulder to lead her into the house since we don't like to argue or yell in front of the kids. The cops handcuffed me and took me to jail. I've never been in trouble and never been arrested in my life. I was put in a jail cell for 15 hours by myself, with no contact with the outside and had no idea what was going on. The judge showed up and told me if I plead guilty to Assault - Family Violence (Misdemeanour Class III), I could go home. I didn't know if I had been in the cell for 12 hours or 3 days as nobody was in there with me. He said if I plead not guilty, I would have to have a trial with him 48 hours later. He led me to believe that if I didn't plead guilty I had to stay in there for 2 days. I was disoriented, scared, cold, and wanted nothing more than to get out of there. He told me it was a simple Class III Misdemeanour like a traffic ticket. Now that I've been doing research, I've discovered it's so much more than that.

My question is that I was given NO paperwork other than the mandatory Emergency Protective Order. We are meeting with the judge today to get that dropped as nobody believes I'm a threat to my family or kids. The judge made a comment when reading me the emergency protective order that, "My CHL would be suspended and that he was not here to take my firearms." However, after now doing some research, I read that the federal law states I can never own a firearm the rest of my life for a Class III Misdemeanour for Assult - Family. Since he made that statement, is there such a thing as this EPO just being my penalty and maybe they are not turning it in? I did NOT receive a citation, but had to pay $300 which they told me was the penatly for being in jail.

Firearms are a big issue to me as I have 4 boys and I am an avid hunter. My favorite past time was growing up hunting with my father and I can't stand to loose out on this for the rest of my life with my boys.

Is there anything I can do? Texas law states I have to wait 3 years (I think) but federal law states it's forever. Anything I can do to get this overturned regardless of the price? Do I have any hope?

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