Any criminal conviction has far-reaching consequences which some might not even totally realize at the time they sign a guilty plea.
In addition to jail time, probation and other fines and penalties, convictions for crimes can affect a person’s professional and personal reputation. In some cases, a conviction may even have an ongoing impact on a person’s professional license, family status and even basic freedoms.
Convictions for crimes related to domestic violence are particularly well-known for their ability to negatively impact residents of Visalia and the San Joaquin Valley in ways that can alter a person’s life profoundly and permanently.
Loss of the right to possess a firearm
Under federal law, a person who has even one misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence forfeits her right to possess a firearm. Under federal law, someone with a qualifying criminal conviction can face federal prosecution if she is found in possession of a firearm.
It is important to note that the range of qualifying offenses is quite broad. Basically, any conviction where the accused allegedly used, or tried to use, force against a spouse, a former spouse, or the parent of his child can disqualify someone from possessing a firearm.
The ban does not expire, and there are no exceptions, even for those who routinely carry a firearm as part of their work.
Professional licensing and other freedoms
State authorities who regulate various trades and professions, including lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers and those who work regularly with children vulnerable people, take domestic violence convictions very seriously.
It may be legally impossible for a person to continue to work in her chosen profession after a conviction.
For those who wish to adopt or who are involved in fostering children, a domestic violence conviction can prevent them from continuing to do so.
Finally, crimes of domestic violence will make a person who is not an American citizen deportable, even if he otherwise staying in this country lawfully.
Child custody and parenting time
Finally, while it is probably a good idea to discuss the details with a family lawyer, a domestic violence conviction can under California law prevent a parent from having, or keeping custody of his or her children or even seeming them without restrictions.
This is particularly important since many domestic violence case arise during or immediate before custody disputes.
The bottom line is that a Californian accused of domestic violence has a lot at stake. He or she evaluate his or her legal options carefully.