Compared to other violent criminal offenses, allegations of domestic violence may not seem that serious. After all, such legal issues can arise after as little as a loud disagreement with your spouse that prompts a call to the police. If either of you says the wrong thing or acts in a way that the police officers misinterpret, there could be an arrest and criminal charges.
Even if the other person involved doesn’t want the prosecution to occur, the state will still likely move forward with the case. Many people facing what they view as embarrassing criminal charges think that pleading guilty is the best solution, but they may have overlooked the very serious and long-lasting consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
Even if the other party in the situation doesn’t play a role in your prosecution and does not ask for any kind of protective order, the judge presiding over your criminal case could still include restrictions on where you live to keep you separate from the other party. Such demands can cause personal instability and possibly financial hardship, as you may also need to continue contributing to the household expenses at the space you shared with the other party.
You don’t have to face a felony offense to lose your legal right to own a firearm. You only have to have a domestic violence charge on your criminal record. Federal rules prohibit anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense from owning firearms afterward. If you get caught in possession of a firearm after a domestic violence charge, you can find yourself facing weapons charges.
Having a domestic violence charge on your criminal record will limit many of your opportunities in life. You may not qualify for the best housing or be able to enroll at an institution of higher education. Even if you do get into a college or university, you will likely have fewer options for financial aid, as many scholarship programs do background checks.
Employment will also be a potential issue, as any place you apply will probably perform a background check. Even your own employer might take punitive action against you or deny you future advancement opportunities because of your conviction.
Fighting back against domestic violence charges can prevent them from drastically affecting your life.