If you are ever charged with domestic violence charges, you may think that they are not serious especially if the charges are graded as misdemeanor charges. However, there are a number of reasons why individuals charged with domestic violence charges should strongly consider challenging the charges. The following points should help you understand why a criminal defense strategy is ideal for these types of cases.
Penalties and Punishment
There are numerous penalties or punishments that can be imposed on individuals who are convicted of domestic violence charges. These penalties may include incarceration, probation, or fines. Some jurisdictions may also enforce court ordered classes or counseling at the expense of the accused. The severity of the legal punishments will likely depend on the severity of the charges and the prior criminal history of the accused.
Job and Housing Security
There are many companies that conduct criminal background checks on their employees. Some rental communities also conduct these types of checks on potential tenants. The presence of convictions could result in employment or tenancy offers not being extended. There are also individuals who may work in certain types of industries or currently reside in communities where these types of convictions could cause problems. For example, a city official convicted of domestic violence charges might be fired or a lessee might be informed that their lease will not be eligible for renewal due to a domestic violence conviction.
Future Family Court Issues
Perhaps you are thinking that as long as the charges are misdemeanor there is nothing to be worried about. However, if there are children involved, at some point domestic violence convictions could be detrimental in any future family court cases. For example, you could be denied visitation or only allowed supervised visitation even if the domestic violence allegations were not against the children. If the other parent alleges that you have been violent with them, a judge in family court might assert that you could also be violent towards your children. Individuals who have joint custody could lose their custody rights even if their domestic violence convictions are misdemeanors.
In some jurisdictions, it is common for prosecutors to offer plea deals for domestic violence related charges. These "deals" might sound ideal under the circumstances, but it is ideal to use a criminal defense attorney from a place like Abom & Kutulakis LLP as a resource for these types of offers. If you accept a plea deal, you have to keep in mind that it is legally binding and may appear on criminal background checks indefinitely.