Everyone has gotten into an argument with a significant other at one point or another. But sometimes those disputes turn physical in nature, which can leave you facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing. As stressful as domestic violence charges and their potential criminal penalties can be, the matter can be even more overwhelming when you think about the larger implications of a domestic violence conviction.
How a domestic violence conviction can affect your life
Before accepting a plea deal from prosecutors or admitting to some sort of fault for a physical altercation, you need to consider the wide-ranging implications of a conviction. Here are just some of them:
- Jail or prison time: This is at the top of the list for many accused individuals. Severe crimes or subsequent offenses can lead to extensive periods of incarceration.
- Probation and its related costs: Even if you escape incarceration, a conviction will likely lead to long-term probation. This can be disruptive to your job and your day-to-day living, and it can also be expensive. This is because you may be required to pay for anger management classes or other services that the court deems necessary.
- Custody matters: A criminal conviction for domestic violence can also have serious ramifications in your family law case. For example, your child’s other parent may use the conviction against you to try to limit or even completely eliminate your time with your children. Alternatively, you might be ordered to have only supervised parenting time with your children.
- Housing issues: Many landlords run background checks on those who fill out a leasing application. Your domestic violence conviction is going to come up, which may give a landlord serious pause in deciding whether to grant your application. Therefore, your housing options may become limited and less desirable.
- Employment struggles: A criminal conviction of any kind is likely to impact your job, but a conviction for a violent offense like domestic violence is probably going to lead to job loss. Making matters worse is the fact that your conviction will make it hard for you to find new employment, too. If you work in a profession that requires a license, then you may see that license suspended or revoked, which can completely upend your career overnight.
- Restricted gun rights: A conviction for a domestic violence offense could also impede your ability to purchase and own a gun.
- Immigration problems: If you’re an immigrant and are convicted on felony domestic violence charges, then there’s a good chance that you may end up facing deportation when everything is said and done.
What does this mean for you?
We don’t alert you of these potential consequences to scare you, but rather to inform you as to why it’s important that you put forth the strongest criminal defense possible under the circumstances. This means assessing witness credibility, analyzing the prosecution’s evidence, and looking at statutory and case law for support of your position.
Even if prosecutors try to make a plea deal look rosy because it allows you to avoid jail time, don’t forget to keep the other implications mentioned above in mind. That’s the only way that you can ensure that you make the criminal defense options that are right for you.