Domestic violence charges in California can lead to jail time, probation and fines. The police can respond to reports of an argument at your house and make the decision to arrest you and charge you with a crime even if the other people present don’t make any allegations against you.
Some people worry that going to court to defend against domestic violence allegations could affect their reputation or their career, so they plead guilty. The problem with this approach is that while it may limit some of the court-based consequences a person faces, it does nothing to mitigate the secondary consequences that domestic violence charges cause outside of court.
You could lose your job
Many employers have zero-tolerance policies for violent criminal offenses. While they may not fire you if you get convicted of a shoplifting or impaired driving offense, they may take immediate action after a conviction for a violent offense. Domestic violence charges will lead to a criminal record that could have a lasting impact on your ability to secure a job or get a promotion.
You may not be legally able to carry a firearm anymore
Federal law imposes a handful of restrictions on legal firearm ownership. The law makes not just a felony but also misdemeanor domestic violence offenses grounds to strip someone of their firearm rights. Any offense associated with domestic violence could mean that you face major criminal charges in the future if you continue to possess firearms.
Learning about the possible secondary consequences of a domestic violence conviction could help inspire you to defend yourself against those charges.