The Effect of a Criminal Conviction on Your Career
A domestic violence conviction isn't like any other criminal conviction. Domestic violence carries a stigma with it that is hard to shake. Even more so than assault, domestic violence offenses are seen as particularly immoral given the nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim. Men and women face the same stigma, no matter the circumstances of the offense. Not surprisingly, a domestic violence conviction can affect your career.
Considered a crime of moral turpitude, a domestic violence conviction can make an employer doubt your moral capacity. In fact, crimes of moral turpitude, including domestic violence, are deportable crimes, which means you can be deported if you are not a resident and are convicted of that offense.
In many careers, morality matters. Many fields require workers maintain a high level of morality, responsibility, and ethicality. And for the employers in these industries, any deviation from these standards can make you a risk and a liability. Most business owners won't risk their business on someone who could exhibit low moral standards.
If you work in education, educational institutions expect you to set a good example for the students, and moral character is important. If you work with vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, you need to be trusted to not harm them, and it's difficult to earn this trust with a domestic violence conviction on your record. The same goes for social work positions. These are positions that require you to act according to ethical standards to help those in need, which could even include victims of domestic violence.
Similarly, if you work in health care, you will be expected to always look out for the well-being of your patients. And in banking, insurance, and finance fields, you need to be a trustworthy person overall. Even in service industries, employers need to be able to trust you to treat people right. A domestic violence conviction can work against all these expectations. Even in you don't work with people, if your job requires you to carry a weapon or another destructive device or chemical, an employer might not trust you with such responsibility. To your employer, you could be seen as a liability.
Even if you don't work in one of these fields, most employers name high moral standards as one of the most important traits they look for in an employee. And nothing can put your morality into question like a domestic violence conviction. Unfortunately, these types of convictions are surprisingly common, and people are wrongfully convicted of DV offenses all the time for what were simple misunderstandings.
So, what are your options if you are facing charges for domestic violence? If your career is important to you, you should first speak with an attorney about your defense options. I'd recommend against trying to negotiate a plea bargain on your own or even going to trial without the assistance of an attorney.
An attorney who has handled domestic violence cases can help you determine what option is best for you. It may be possible for you to get a plea bargain for an offense that does not have the same moral weight as domestic violence. For example, some people negotiate plea bargains for offenses like disturbing the peace, which can appear less serious in the eyes of an employer or client.
A domestic violence defense attorney will also know the ins and outs of the domestic violence prosecution process in California, which can differ from other criminal prosecutions because it involves special units designed to ensure defendants don't “fall through the cracks”, but don't let that intimidate you. An experienced attorney can provide expert guidance throughout your case.
Whatever route you choose, make sure you educate yourself and defend your rights. A domestic violence conviction is grounds for termination in many fields and good cause for suspending or revoking certain professional licenses. It also has long-lasting effects such as a ban on gun ownership and long-term restraining orders that restrict your every move. That being said, a domestic violence conviction is one you will want to fight.
Are you facing domestic violence charges in California and concerned about your job security? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his team for legal help in Tulare, Fresno or Kings County. Specializing in domestic violence defense, Mr. Martens can take immediate action in your case to defend your rights and clear your name. With over ten years experience in criminal defense, Attorney Martens has taken over 50 cases to trial and will not be afraid to do the same for you. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.