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Texas lawmakers consider domestic violence registry

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Previous posts have touched on the state of Texas' efforts to alter sex offender registry requirements. The Texas Sex Offender registry is one example of the substantial consequences to a criminal conviction. On top of potential jail time and fines, the damage to reputation post-conviction can be incredibly hard on one's future. The sex offender registry solidifies that potential for damage, making absolutely accessibly public knowledge the details of one's crime. Now, the state of Texas is proposing to bring the concept of the sex offender registry to domestic violence offenses.

The Texas house recently passed legislation that would implement a domestic violence offender registry, similar to the sex offender registry already in place in Texas. If implemented, individuals convicted of three instances of domestic violence or more will be forced to register. The registry is available online, where public access to the list will reveal the convicted individuals' name, date of birth and recent photographs of the offenders.

In order for the bill to become law, the house, the senate and the governor must sign off on the details. If enacted, the future reputation of convicted domestic violence offenders could be substantially effected.

When facing any criminal charges, it is imperative to bring forth a vigorous criminal defense. Given the substantial consequences involved in a conviction, it is crucial a guilty verdict is fought vigorously. When it comes to a domestic violence charge, pointing out holes in the prosecution's case, keeping out irrelevant evidence and ensuring important witness testimony is heard can mean reduced or dropped charges or even an innocent verdict.

Source: The Observer, "Texas house passes Domestic Violence Registry legislation," April 30, 2013

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