Richardson, TX asked in Domestic Violence, Immigration Law and Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Can I terminate my lease if there is a domestic violence charge against me?

I am an immigrant on Daca and I am married to a U.S. citizen. My husband has criminal history. I've been suffering from many forms of abuse, including emotional, verbal and even physical. Because of his crimininal history , many times I hesitated to call the cops on him when he began acting aggresive towards me. He would threaten me with calling ice if i didnt do what he wanted. I was the one who covered all the costs of living, even though he had a job too. When I told him i was going to leave him he started acting up. One night he broke the door of the apartment where we lived because he lost his key. And he refused to pay for the damages. One night we got into an altercation and ended I up calling the cops because i was afraid of him. He had set up a camera in his room to make it seem like i was the one who abused him. Now i have a charge for domestic violence and i am trying to terminate the lease, because i can no longer afford it, and he wont help pay for it.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Being accused of a domestic violence is not a condition that allows you to break a lease without being responsible for paying future rent obligations under the lease agreement. If you break the lease, you will be responsible for your obligations under the rental agreement. You would probably be required to pay for some period of time after you have moved out of the space. How many months you would be on the hook for depends on the agreement.

Frankly, the lease is NOT your biggest problem. A domestic violence conviction, even a misdemeanor, could cause you to become a Deportable Alien and be permanantly denied readmittance into the USA. Your credit score won't matter if your immigration status is ruined. Hire the best local criminal defense attorney you can get. The potential consequences are too serious to rely on a court-appointed attorney or cheap plea-broker.

It is possible to break a lease WITHOUT being responsible for paying future rent obligations when you are the "protected person" in some types of Protective Orders involving domestic violence. For more information on which types of orders do and do not qualify, see this page: https://www.pacefirm.com/faq/break-lease-domestic-violence.html

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