Domestic violence charges often don’t seem that serious to the people facing them. Especially if there are no witnesses, the victim doesn’t intend to testify and the accused doesn’t have a previous violent criminal history, just entering a guilty plea to move on with life might seem like the easiest way to handle domestic violence charges.
Unfortunately, what is simple is not always best. Even if you don’t have to worry about jail time or probation because of the specific charges you face, there could very well be secondary consequences of a guilty plea or conviction that more than justify mounting a thorough defense.
A domestic violence conviction can affect your rights
After conviction, you will have a criminal record for domestic violence that could haunt you for years to come. That record might prevent you from getting a better job, renting a specific house, getting in college or qualifying for financial aid. All of those issues could derail your plans for the future.
As if that weren’t bad enough, people with domestic violence convictions in their background typically don’t have the same legal right as others do to own firearms. If you get caught in possession of a firearm after domestic violence conviction, you could face a weapons charge.
Domestic violence convictions could affect your parental rights
While you may have work things out with the other party in the short-term as issues continue to arrive, you might eventually end up getting divorced. A conviction for domestic violence could affect everything from tenancy in your marital home to custody of your children.
Defending against the charges now will minimize the impact they might have on you and your family in the future.