Vidor, TX asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Rights and Domestic Violence for Texas

Q: Can i do anything if my girlfriend's parents have guardianship over her. Will they have it since she has aspergers?

My girlfriend is 26 and has aspergers but lives in a abusive (domestic abuse) household. She has suffered this abuse since late elementary school from her parents, close family and so on. Now i want to help her move out but her mom demands that she can't and has threatened to call the police and put her on a missings persons list. Once found, she will have her arrested for trespassing on her property for X amount of years. I've been informed that the only way she has power over her in this sense is that if she has a guardianship over her. I live in arkansas and she lives in Houston, Texas. Her parents have not taken the time to get her a driver's licenses. I fear that things can get worse as things go on. She hasn't reached out to anyone, that i know of, with this information. I want to know if there's anything i can do to help her. Ive offered my house to her but she's afraid what her parents will do.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I notice there are several practice areas flagged on this question. I will answer only with respect to Criminal Law and Domestic Violence. You'll need a Family Law attorney to answer the Guardianship issue ... and maybe also a therapist to figure out how you got emotionally invested in this situation.

If this girlfriend is a person you know from online communication only then you can't really know if you have the full story or the correct story.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

If you want to help, and you are relatively certain about the accuracy of your accusations, you could report the abuse to Adult Protective Services. https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Training/APS_Reporting/reporting_how.asp

She could also apply for a Family Violence Protective Order through the District Attorney's Office in the Texas county in which she resides or the county in which the violence occurred. This would order them not to harm her and could also exclude them from her residence. If she is 100% dependent on them this could obviously cause more harm than good.

Criminal charges could be filed against her family if state authorities get involved... and the alleged victim does not have standing to drop those charges. So consider the situation carefully before taking that step.

CRIMINAL:

The trespassing threat sounds like a bluff. Take a look at the Criminal Trespass statute in Penal Code 30.05. It is very specific and your description of the situation doesn't seem to fit. See for yourself: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.30.htm#30.05

Missing Person List - OK, so they put her on the list... and when the cops find her then what? Take her into custody? For what crime? She can avoid an arrest for Failure to ID even if she has no driver's license by simply giving the information required by section 38.02 https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.38.htm#38.02

Also, she isn't a child so you wouldn't be committing the crime of Harboring a Runaway by helping. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.25.htm#25.06

*** WARNING *** I don't think either of you would be in trouble but there may be something I'm forgetting.

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