What Are The Most Common Questions About Domestic Violence Charges?

Accusations that you committed domestic violence can change your life for the worse. If you are convicted, you can face jail time, fines, mandatory counseling, a restraining order, and other penalties. You might also have trouble finding a job or a place to live.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important to understand the specific allegations against you. Most people have never been accused of domestic violence, which means that these first accusations can be frightening. You might have questions about the legal process, what will happen to your family, and how to defend yourself.

The following are some of the most common questions that people have about domestic violence charges:

What Does the State Consider Domestic Violence?

Each state has different regulations surrounding what constitutes domestic violence, so this is not an easy question to answer with a blanket statement. In general, domestic violence is considered any type of abuse that takes place between family members or romantic partners. This can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.

Can You Lose the Right to Own a Gun if You Are Accused?

If you are facing domestic violence charges, the court might order that you surrender any firearms that you own. Whether or not you will be required to surrender your firearms will depend on the specific allegations against you and the laws in your state.

Can These Charges Affect the Rest of Your Life?

Yes. A domestic violence conviction will appear on your criminal record. This means that potential employers, landlords, and others will be able to see that you have been convicted of domestic violence. In some cases, a domestic violence conviction can also lead to the loss of your professional license.

Can't a Victim Just Drop the Charges?

Not necessarily. Once the police have been involved in a domestic violence case, the decision of whether or not to pursue charges is out of the victim's hands. The prosecutor will decide whether or not to pursue the case, even if the victim does not want to press charges.

Can Somebody You Don't Live With Make These Accusations?

Yes. You can be accused of domestic violence even if you don't live with the alleged victim. This is most common in cases of dating violence or abuse between ex-partners.

What Kind of Attorney Should You Hire?

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. A good attorney will be able to help you understand the specific charges against you, the potential penalties, and your best legal defense. 

Contact a local criminal law attorney for more info.