Being a Class A Misdemeanor, a domestic violence conviction can get you tossed in the county jail for up to a year. That is one example of a judicial consequence - a sentence for a crime you have been convicted of. “Collateral consequences” are the things that can happen to you because of a domestic violence conviction other than the sentence imposed by the court. Things like losing your job and getting evicted are collateral consequences. The judge did not order your boss to fire you or tell your landlord to kick you out, but things like this happen anyway. When it comes to domestic violence - a heavily stigmatized crime - many people find the collateral consequences just as bad as if not worse than the judicial consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you will need a strong legal defense team to protect you.
What Problems Might I Face After a Domestic Violence Conviction?
The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include:
- Trouble with housing - If you lived with the alleged victim when you got arrested, you were probably served with a protection order that prevents you from going home. Yes, simply being arrested for domestic violence can make you immediately homeless, so you might be scrambling to find housing right now. Landlords may be very reluctant to accept a tenant with a domestic violence charge. True or not, potential landlords may assume you are a violent person and will cause trouble.
- Reputation damage - You will be judged, both socially and professionally, if you are convicted of domestic violence. Some of your friends may no longer want anything to do with you, especially if you and the alleged victim had a lot of mutual friends - who are likely to side with them. You may find yourself feeling socially isolated and ostracized.
- Professional licensing - Domestic violence is an automatic or near-automatic disqualifier for most professional licenses. Nurses, teachers, and more may be stripped of their licenses.
- Difficulty with employment - Prepare to lose your current job. Many people do. Unless you are already in a line of work that frequently accepts people with criminal records, you might quickly find yourself without a job. Finding a new one can be difficult.
Even being accused of domestic violence can do significant damage to your life. A strong legal defense can mitigate any potential issues, and in some cases, can even clear your name....