Disadvantages of Domestic Violence
With many crimes, you can face fines, imprisonment, and probation if convicted. Certain crimes, domestic violence crimes for instance, also result in a host of other consequences, some of which cannot be avoided. Here are five facts about domestic violence charges you may not be aware of.
- The victim cannot drop the charges. Once the victim notifies the police of the alleged domestic violence incident, the State of California takes it from there. The victim may be asked to provide testimony in the case, but the state files the charges and has complete control over the prosecution process from that point onward. This is unfortunate because many victims later try to recant their allegations in order to smooth things over with the offender. In reality, they can't take back what they said, and nothing they can do will, in and of itself, result in the charges being dropped. That decision is the prosecutor's alone and will be made based on whether or not there is enough evidence to convict the defendant. If there is, charges will be filed, and the defendant will be prosecuted. If not, the prosecutor may decide to drop the case.
- You can lose your gun rights for life. Those who use firearms on their jobs such as law enforcement officers or people in the military are not automatically exuded from this penalty nor are those who hunt for subsistence purposes. If you lose your gun rights, you cannot own or otherwise possess a firearm, period.
- You can be barred from reentry into the U.S. if you aren't a citizen. You can also be deported or can lose your chance of getting citizenship. Bottom line: domestic violence convictions can threaten your ability to stay in the U.S. For this reason, non-citizens should immediately speak with an attorney if they find themselves facing DV charges.
- A protection order will be issued even if the victim doesn't want one. This could mean you have to move out of your home if that is where the victim lives. You may also be restricted from seeing your child and may have to visit him or her at a visitation facility so you do not have any contact with the victim. This is a very serious consequence of a DV conviction many people don't consider. You can be arrested and charged if you violate the order.
- You can and will be judged for the rest of your life. This is impossible to avoid. You cannot completely and permanently erase your conviction from your criminal record. Somewhere down the road, someone will discover your conviction and could judge you. If you think judgment from society is the least of your worries when facing a criminal charge, think again. Long after you've served your time and paid your fines, a conviction such as domestic violence can continue to hold you back in life, and there may be nothing you can do about it.
Clearly, a domestic violence charge can affect your life in many areas other criminal charges may not. From gun rights to custody, a DV conviction can leave you having to put the pieces of your life back in order as best you can. You may have to leave your home, lose custody rights, or even lose your job. In light of all these consequences, it is no wonder why so many people fight their DV charges. This is hard to do, however, so you should enlist the help of an attorney if this is the route you will take.
Domestic violence crimes are particularly difficult charges to fight and are very harmful convictions to have on your record. With this in mind, you should speak with an experienced California domestic violence defense attorney if you are facing any type of domestic violence charge. The stakes are high, but you do have options, especially if you involve an attorney early on in your case.
Do you have questions about domestic violence charges? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for help in Tulare, Fresno or Kings County. Experienced in domestic violence defense, our Visalia area legal team can advise you of your rights and help you defend them. Attorney Martens has over ten years experience in criminal defense and won't be afraid to take your case all the way to trial. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.