If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges, you are at risk of serious criminal penalties. Some people, terrified about going to court and risking the maximum possible penalty, will quickly plead guilty to their pending charges in the hope of avoiding jail time.
While you may get probation instead of jail, a guilty plea can come with a lot of side effects after a domestic violence charge. Recognizing those consequences can help you make a better decision about how you respond to pending charges.
Your gun ownership rights are at risk
Those convicted of certain crimes can no longer legally own guns. Any offense that involves domestic violence immediately precludes you from legal firearm ownership. Even misdemeanor domestic assault charges will make it illegal for you to own a firearm in the future. Not being able to own a gun could affect your military service or your job if you work in security or law enforcement.
Your living and educational opportunities will diminish
If you want to rent an apartment in a nice community or go back to college, your criminal record could hold you back. Even if you do get into school, a domestic violence charge will have a negative impact on your ability to secure financial aid. It could also affect what jobs you can get.
Your access to your children could also be at risk
Domestic violence accusations can affect divorce and custody proceedings. If you already share custody of your children, even if the other parent is not the alleged victim of the incident, your conviction could affect custody arrangements. The other parent could ask for a modification citing your conviction as evidence that shared custody is not in the best interest of the children.
Knowing how a guilty plea to domestic violence charges could affect your life could help motivate you to defend your future and your reputation.