If someone you live with or a romantic partner accuses you of domestic violence, there could be several issues that you must address in court. Criminal charges could have major repercussions. There could be jail time and fines if you plead guilty to domestic violence charges.
Surprisingly, a guilty plea is a common response even among those who assert their innocence. Many California adults accused of domestic violence don’t want to go to court or worry about what would happen if they tried to plead not guilty and then get convicted anyway.
The problem with pleading guilty is that there will be numerous consequences, including several outside of court. What are the risks you face other than jail time when facing domestic violence accusations?
You could lose some of your civil rights
Did you know that domestic violence convictions prohibit the legal ownership of firearms? Federal lawmakers have expanded firearm restrictions to include not just felony domestic violence charges but misdemeanor offenses.
In fact, even if the charge isn’t a domestic violence offense but merely involves an act of domestic violence charged under a separate statute, a guilty plea could permanently end someone’s legal firearm ownership rights.
Your job could be at risk
If you work as a police officer or are a military servicemember, the firearm restrictions that come with a domestic violence conviction will likely prevent you from continuing your job. Your inability to own a firearm is only the tip of the iceberg.
Many employers have rules against criminal convictions and may discipline or terminate an employee who pleaded guilty to any offense while working for the company. Those who work in licensed professions, like medicine, could lose their professional license because of a criminal conviction if the licensing board finds out about the offense.
Your parenting rights are in danger as well
Criminal court proceedings will typically not result in direct family law consequences, but they can affect your right in future family law cases. Someone could try to deprive you of your parental rights if they can convince the courts that your history of domestic violence makes you a risk to the children.
When you understand the numerous ways that domestic violence allegations could affect your future, you may feel more motivated to fight back against those charges.