Being charged with a domestic violence offense is a very serious event, and if you are convicted of the charge you can face some very negative consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. If you are arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is essential to hire a criminal defense attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases. Your attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed entirely, or secure a plea deal that includes lesser charges or a dismissal of the charges after certain conditions are met. Some of the ways that a domestic violence conviction can negatively effect your life include:
Complete Loss of Gun Rights
In the United States, people who have a domestic violence conviction permanently lose their gun rights even if the charge was a misdemeanor. This law was passed by Congress in 1997, and it is still in effect today. Under this law, a domestic violence offender cannot own, use, transport, or sell any type of firearm or ammunition. Members of the armed forces or law enforcement may lose their job as a result of a domestic violence conviction due to their inability to legally use a firearm.
No Fingerprint Clearance Card
A number of professions require a person to obtain a fingerprint clearance card before they can be employed. Some of these jobs include, teachers, nursing home and assisted living employees, daycare employees, positions at any type of school, and some government positions. A fingerprint clearance card is often required in order to get a real estate license, and in some cases employees of vendors or contractor for public school must also have one. When you have a domestic violence conviction, you will not be able to pass the background checks that are used to grant fingerprint clearance, and you will not be able to renew a current fingerprint clearance card. Thus, your conviction can adversely affect your career if you work in a job that requires fingerprint clearance, and you may be forced to switch careers
Difficulty Securing Employment
In this day and age, many employers conduct full background checks on applicants before offering employment. If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, it will be on your criminal record and it will show up on a background check. This can hurt your chances of securing employment, as some companies may prefer to hire an equally qualified candidate without a criminal record.