Virginia residents who face a criminal charge related to domestic violence may think that their best option is to plead guilty.
It could be especially tempting to plead guilty if it is a person’s first offense and the proposed plea deal is a good one.
However, before making any decisions, a Warrenton resident should be aware that there are many long-term consequences that come with a domestic violence conviction.
A domestic violence conviction may keep a person from his children
For instance, under Virginia’s child custody and visitation laws, a court will consider any history of domestic violence, including criminal convictions, when making decisions about child custody and parenting time.
Other circumstances may influence the judge’s decision as well, but the judge could easily decide that a person’s criminal conviction makes him too dangerous to be trusted around his children unsupervised for any lengthy period of time.
Domestic violence convictions will impact the right to have a firearm
Additionally, a person who is convicted of a crime involving domestic violence may lose her right to own a firearm.
A separate federal law provides that, in many situations, a crime of domestic violence will disqualify a person from being able legally to own a firearm for long as the conviction remains on the record. This is true even for misdemeanor offenses and even if the person has no other criminal record.
Domestic violence convictions can impact other rights as well
Criminal convictions related to domestic violence can also negatively impact people on a number of levels long after they have served their jail time and probation.
For example immigrants, including permanent legal residents, may face deportation. People who work in certain occupations may lose their ability to practice their trade or profession.
If it relates to domestic violence, a criminal charge is a very serious matter.
Those who are accused of such offenses should evaluate their legal options carefully.