Before you decide to plea to a domestic violence charge or decide to represent yourself in your case, be aware that there are unexpected consequences that come along with a conviction. These collateral consequences can affect where you live, where you work and what you can and cannot do. You should know all of the consequences before you make decisions about how to move forward with a domestic violence charge.
Where You Live
A domestic violence conviction can affect where you live in two ways. The first is that you may be denied entry into your home. If you live with the accuser, a judge may order that you not enter the home and you will have to find a new place to live. Finding a new place to live may be harder than it sounds – many landlords refuse to rent to individuals with domestic violence convictions.
Secondly, a conviction could result in deportation and denial of citizenship or reentry. Once an individual has a conviction, there may not be much an attorney can do to prevent those consequences. This is why it’s important to know, understand, and consider all of the collateral consequences prior to a domestic violence trial.
Where You Work
A domestic violence conviction could impede your ability to obtain promotions and leadership roles in any job. When trying to obtain a job, this conviction will come up in a background check and could result in being denied the job opportunity.
Additionally, you may not be able to work in certain fields. Working with women, children or vulnerable positions will likely be out of the question if you have a domestic violence conviction. If you are a teacher, firefighter or police officer, your job may be in serious jeopardy. These considerations should be taken into account when planning your defense with your attorney.
What You Can Do
An obvious consequence of a domestic violence conviction may be a protection order, meaning you cannot have contact with the accuser. But what happens if you violate that order? You could face probation, fines and jail time. Regardless of the circumstance, even if the accuser tries to contact you, violating that order can result in major penalties.
A less-obvious consequence is the ability to own a gun. You may be required to surrender your firearms to law enforcement or sell them. This could impact your work if guns are required as well as your personal life. This will mean hunting and the shooting range are off-limits.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, know the collateral consequences before making any decisions. Give us a call today for your consultation.