Being charged with domestic violence can be frightening enough, especially if you've been convicted of the offense. Primarily, domestic violence is an offense between people with a specific intimate relationship. It's characterized by abusive behavior toward another person to obtain and maintain control and power. It can be in several forms, such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
So, if the alleged victim claims that you committed any of the types mentioned above of abuse, you more likely have to face a domestic violence charge which can result in a conviction. Unfortunately, getting convicted of domestic violence can significantly impact your life and your family. This may have financial, legal, and personal consequences that you should be aware of.
Keep reading this article to learn the consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
1. Criminal Penalties
This is one of the most significant impacts of receiving a domestic violence conviction. When you're found guilty of committing abusive behavior toward the alleged victim, the court will require you to serve a certain period of jail time as a punishment. For example, if your domestic violence case is categorized as a misdemeanor, the penalty will be up to one year of jail time and a fine between USD$2,500 to USD$5,000, depending on your state laws.
On the other hand, if your offense is classified as a felony, the penalty will be 5 – 10 years in prison with a fine ranging between USD$10,000 to USD$50,000, depending on your state laws. With all that said, a domestic violence conviction comes with several criminal penalties that can affect your freedom and financial situation.
Hence, given the gravity and extent of these penalties, seeking legal assistance is highly recommended. An excellent criminal defense lawyer can provide solid legal representation if you're facing charges of domestic violence in Los Angeles or wherever you may be.
2. Permanent Criminal Record
The domestic violence conviction permanently stays on your criminal record, which, in turn, can affect your personal life in the following ways:
Ability to find a new place to live: If you live with the alleged victim, you probably need to find a new dwelling place after being charged and convicted of domestic violence.
However, looking for a new place to stay can be challenging because of your conviction record. In most cases, landlords refuse to rent to people convicted of domestic violence, making choosing and obtaining suitable housing options more challenging.
Ability to seek better employment opportunities: Your domestic violence conviction can also affect your ability to get more employment opportunities. For example, if you're looking for a job, your criminal record may lead to the denial of employment, especially in specific fields like firefighting, law enforcement, and teaching. Your conviction record may also adversely impact your ability to obtain leadership roles and promotions.
As you can see, a domestic violence conviction on your criminal record can affect your life. Thus, it's best to hire a lawyer to help you avoid a life-changing conviction.
3. Protection Order Against the Offender
A domestic violence conviction may result in a protection order against you as the offender. It prohibits you from contacting the offended party or having unauthorized contact with your minor children, making it more challenging to arrange visitation rights. The protection order also makes accessing vehicles and other properties in your shared home difficult.
Violating the protection order can result in several serious penalties. Hence, it's always advised to follow the provisions of the protection order to make your life more manageable.
4. Loss of the Constitutional Right to Bear Firearms
The Constitution guarantees the right of every qualified person to bear firearms legally. But this right can be taken away if one is convicted of certain criminal offenses, including domestic violence.
So, if you've been found guilty of domestic violence, you lose your constitutional right to bear firearms as federal law provides. If you're caught in possession of a firearm after conviction, you may be charged with another offense under federal law which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
However, the firearm restriction due to a domestic violence conviction may result in the loss of your employment if you work in the military, a law enforcement agency, or any job requiring a firearm.
By keeping the information mentioned above in mind, a domestic violence conviction can indeed affect every aspect of your life. So, if you don't want to face the consequences, seek a lawyer's help to avoid a conviction. With them at your side, you can better understand the charges and the potential effects. Lastly, you can work with them to achieve a favorable outcome for your case.