DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE
A TYPICAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST
Many domestic violence arrests are simply family arguments where one party thought that calling the police would have the effect of calming the situation down. Their mistake is soon obvious when the police take their partner away and book them for domestic violence. This is the result of the cultural phenomenon of "no drop prosecutions" in which law enforcement mandates that when the police are called out for domestic violence, somebody has to be arrested. Sometimes we are able to explain this situation to government prosecutors and dissuade them from filing criminal charges.
If a case is filed, however, there are certain mandatory consequences that follow with a domestic violence conviction.
What to expect in a domestic violence case.
At a minimum, you should expect the need to enroll in domestic violence classes and to be prepared to pay $500 as a fine to help fund the State's operation of domestic violence shelters.
The judge will also issue a criminal protective order that will if you're lucky, require you to only have peaceful contact with your partner. If you're not lucky, you may very well be required to completely stay away from your family and loved ones during the life of the case.
A person convicted of domestic violence can expect to lose their right to own firearms.
Depending on the severity of the allegations, the court or prosecutor may require that you engage in community service, community labor, or spend time in jail.
Lastly, domestic violence cases bring with them the possibility of massive collateral consequences, like those outlined below.
Protecting your Job, Legal Status, and Family
Collateral consequences are the penalties that may attach to a domestic violence case beyond things like jail, community service, fines, or probation. They are the further civil actions by the state that are triggered as a consequence of the case.
Collateral consequences affect important legal rights in other parts of your life such as your job, professional licence, immigration status, or a family law case.
Below are a few of the more common collateral consequences that we work to protect you from in a domestic violence case:
WORK AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSE
Many careers carry with them state or federally regulated licenses. The most common examples of regulated fields are health care professionals; psychologists; lawyers; teachers; engineers; social workers, tradesmen, and certain service industry workers. Many professionals feel particularly vulnerable in their work position when facing the possibility of a domestic violence conviction.
IMMIGRATION AND LEGAL STATUS
If you are not a citizen, a criminal case may have an effect on your immigration status including possible deportation, denial or naturalization, or exclusion from admission. Domestic violence cases carry these consequences in particular. We work to set your case up for an immigration-neutral outcome. Learn more about our work to defend the immigrant community here.
It's no secret that a favorite tactic for some has been the tried and true method of lying about domestic violence to gain the upper hand in a custody battle or to get leverage in a divorce. This is a common strategy, but the consequences are potentially serious as it can remove your parental rights for years to come.