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New Bill Aimed to Create Advocates for Texas Domestic Violence Victims

 Posted on March 29, 2021 in Criminal Defense

Collin County criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Domestic violence has been a long-standing epidemic for American women and men, especially for Texans. In the past decade, awareness regarding sexual harassment and assault in the workplace has led to major changes when it comes to employee training and discipline, including for those in positions of power. One Texas legislator, in particular, has made it her priority not to just make these changes in the workplace, but also to help those who are victims in their own homes. In 2018 alone, there were 212,885 victims of family violence in Texas, not including the number of victims who go unreported. While 71.6 percent of these victims were female, men are also victims of domestic violence, but they often let this crime against them fly under the radar. Those guilty of domestic violence should undoubtedly be held accountable for their actions, but if you are facing false accusations, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Proposed Bill Calls for Advocacy

Hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists work in an environment where their customers come to them with an intimate request--help me with my appearance--and are comfortable chatting about the details of their lives. While clients may only see these individuals every few weeks or months, they build a trusting relationship with them in which they update them on what is currently going on in their life. State Representative Ana Hernandez recognized the intimate role of these professionals; not only do they hear about their clients’ lives from an outside perspective, but they also get a close look at their clients’ bodies or faces while working on them. 

House Bill 404 recognizes this unique professional relationship as a call to action for Texas hairstylists and cosmetologists. If passed, the bill will require Texans in this line of work to take domestic violence and sexual assault awareness courses in order to renew their license. The training would educate these professionals on how to recognize signs of domestic violence, how to approach the situation, and how to properly assist victims. The focus of the training is not to ask barbers and hairstylists to intervene and place their own lives in danger but to educate them on the best resources that they can provide their clients who are showing signs of abuse. Professionals in this line of work can see the benefits and drawbacks of this legislation. While they do notice marks of abuse in ways that others may not, they may be concerned about overstepping or breaking up a family. Some salons and barbershops already complete such training, but HB 404 would make the training mandatory rather than optional. The bill currently awaits approval in the Senate after being cleared by the House, and if approved, the new law will go into effect on September 1, 2021.

What Are the Consequences for Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is taken very seriously by the Texas court system. These cases are unique in the fact that the details of the abuse can be difficult to prove since evidence of physical injury quickly fades and these injuries may be self-inflicted to act as false evidence. If found guilty of domestic violence, the individual will face Class A misdemeanor charges. He or she will also likely have an order of protection against him or her which restricts who the individual can see, including his or her children. If the domestic violence charges are against a child or they are repeat offenses, the charge and penalties continue to escalate.  

Contact a Plano, Texas Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Facing false domestic violence charges greatly impacts your life. Depending on the details of the accusations, you could face criminal charges, fines, time behind bars, and lose custody or visitation rights to your kids. Do not wait for the accusations to fade--discuss your situation with a reputable Collin County criminal defense attorney right away so that you have a defense strategy in place. Call us today at 214-544-0061 to schedule your free initial consultation.







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