Sometimes, domestic violence allegations are the result of a relationship starting to fall apart. An argument grows heated, and one partner calls the police as a means of punishing or manipulating the other. Unfortunately, when the police arrive, they decide that the situation warrants an arrest.
Individuals facing domestic violence charges frequently feel embarrassed and nervous about what a conviction would mean for their future. Some people plead guilty, hoping that the reduced charges will mean a lesser sentence or that their cooperation will limit the impact of the allegations against them.
Even if a guilty plea keeps you out of court and prison, it will still leave you vulnerable to two serious secondary consequences.
The potential loss of your firearm rights
While the Second Amendment protects the rights of most people to possess firearms, state lawmakers and the federal government have added some restrictions to those rights. If you get convicted of a felony domestic violence offense or any form of domestic violence involving a spouse, you may lose your right to legally possess a firearm.
Not only could you face charges if you get caught in possession of a firearm in the future, but you could potentially lose your job if you have pursued a career in the military, want enforcement or private security fields.
A disadvantage in family court
If you eventually divorce the person who made the allegations against you or you litigate custody issues, your domestic violence conviction will hurt your case and potentially limit your parental rights.
Even if the accusations do not involve your children, judges may look at a domestic violence conviction as evidence that the children would be safer or better cared for with the other parent. You will have an uphill battle getting equal parenting rights with a recent domestic violence conviction on your record.
While mounting a defense will mean going to court, you can potentially protect yourself from very serious consequences that will limit your opportunities for years to come and affect your family in addition to your career. Having the right response to domestic violence charges could be the difference between moving on with your wife later and having permanent residual consequences.