If you are charged or convicted of a crime in Texas, you can face jail or prison time and a fine. However, even if you agree to a plea deal that allows you to avoid those consequences, you can still experience considerable damage to your personal and professional life.
You can lose custody of your kids
The law stipulates that the best interests of the children trump your needs or desires when it comes to parenting your kids. Therefore, if you are charged or convicted of a crime, a judge can decide to suspend or revoke some or all of your parental rights. This may be true even if you are charged with a nonviolent crime or don’t have a record of previous charges or convictions.
You can lose access to employment or housing
A landlord may be able to decline your application for housing based on the presence of a criminal record. You may also be terminated from your job or have difficulty finding work because of a previous violation of state or federal criminal law. A lack of income could also make it difficult to obtain reliable transportation, buy food for your kids or otherwise provide for yourself and your family. It’s also possible that you’ll lose access to financial aid to start or continue your education after serving your sentence.
If you are charged with a crime, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself in court. Casting doubt against physical, eyewitness or other evidence may result in a favorable plea deal or an acquittal. This may allow you to both avoid jail time and potentially keep your job, home and custody of your kids.