A domestic violence (DV) conviction has many serious repercussions. Unfortunately, many defendants fail to realize them until it's too late. If you're facing domestic violence charges, keep these unexpected consequences of DV convictions in mind:
- A DV Conviction Will Impact Your Gun Ownership Rights
Due to decades of studies highlighting the link between DV convictions and gun fatalities, lawmakers are attempting to secure the safety of DV victims by prohibiting those with convictions of possessing firearms. You might have to surrender your firearms to law enforcement or sell them to a licensed dealer. Heavily consider your options before you plead guilty to a domestic violence offense if you hunt or like to go shooting. Very few exceptions to this law are recognized, so even if you use a gun in your line of work, you may lose your rights.
- The judge will issue a California protection order
This is no joke. A California protection order is a serious court order. If you disobey a protection order, also called a no-contact order or a restraining order, you can face stricter terms, an extended probation period, fines, and even jail time. Protection orders can prohibit you from coming within a certain distance of the victim, the victim's house or work, or the victim's close relatives. You might be prevented from even calling or emailing the victim. And even if the victim tries to contact you, you must adhere to the protection order. Protection orders can also restrict where you live or where you travel.
- You could be denied entry to your house. And, if you rent a dwelling with the victim, your landlord can change the locks on you.
If you live with the victim, you might need to find another place to live. Also, if you still need to retrieve your belongings from your residence, expect to be escorted—and supervised—by a sheriff. Not the best way to say goodbye to the neighbors. Coupled with the fact that many landlords don't rent to those with domestic violence convictions, you can see why many defendants end up homeless.
- You could lose your job or find it hard to get a job in any public service role such as a teacher or firefighter.
Even if you aren't in one of these fields, a DV conviction can still affect your opportunities for promotion or to hold leadership positions. Not only will a DV conviction show up on a background check, but you may also be required to report such convictions to your employer or licensing agency. And forget about working with women, children, or other vulnerable populations. A domestic violence conviction is a huge red flag to employers in all industries.
- You could be deported.
Domestic violence offenses are deportable crimes. A DV conviction can result in denial of citizenship, reentry, or cause deportation. Also, there is not much an attorney can do once you have a DV conviction to stop deportation. A good attorney can try to work with the prosecuting attorney and the courts to secure a plea bargain for a non-deportable crime so you can plead guilty to a lesser offense. Make sure you work with an experienced attorney. You will want to find an attorney who has represented non-citizens in domestic violence cases to ensure you have the best protection possible.
These unexpected consequences of domestic violence offenses should be taken seriously. Facing DV charges isn't easy, and learning of these consequences won't help. But the good news is an experienced domestic violence defense attorney in California can help you face your charges. You might have more than one option. For example, you might be able to negotiate a plea bargain or take your case to trial. A good California domestic violence defense attorney will be upfront about your options and help you make the best choice on how to handle your case.
If you are in the Visalia, Hanford or Tulare area and are facing domestic violence charges, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. California domestic violence defense attorney Christopher Martens can help you face your charges so you can move on with your life. Attorney Martens has handled thousands of cases over a span of ten years of criminal defense practice and can fight hard for your rights. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for experienced criminal defense counsel today. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.