Many people who have otherwise clean criminal records may find themselves involved in a domestic disturbance.
Whenever police come to break up an altercation between spouses or other family members, there is always a chance that they will choose to arrest someone for assault or other crimes related to domestic violence.
It is relatively easy for even the most upstanding residents of the greater Portland area to get accused of assault. These cases frequently are based on one person’s word and the police’s after-the-fact opinion of what happened.
Prosecutors may offer a person without a criminal history a good deal that allows them to avoid jail and many other harsh penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.
Sometimes, the best course of action is to accept this type of deal. However, those accused should think carefully and seriously before doing so.
There is no such thing as a minor conviction when domestic violence is in the mix. Even when prosecutors are willing to walk away from serious criminal penalties, the fallout from one conviction can last for a very long time after a case concludes.
What are some of the ways a conviction can affect me after my case is over?
Our society takes domestic violence seriously. Beyond criminal penalties, there are many possible consequences a person convicted of a crime related to domestic violence can face after a conviction:
- A single conviction related to domestic violence may be grounds for deportation if a person is not a citizen of the United States. This is true even if a person is a permanent resident and has lived in the United States for a long time.
- Family law judges are required to consider domestic violence convictions in their decisions. As a starting point, those convicted of violence against the other parent will not get custody. They may have to fight hard even for parenting time.
- A federal law prohibits certain people convicted of domestic violence crimes from owing or possessing firearms. This is true even for misdemeanor convictions.
- The conviction may be a basis for an ongoing protective order. The order could require a person to find a new place to live temporarily.
- Both individual employers and whole professions frown on domestic violence. A conviction can cost a person both their job and their career. Those with professional licenses may be the target of a disciplinary action against their license.
Before agreeing to take any plea deal in an Oregon court, those facing charges related to domestic violence should make sure they understand their rights and alternatives.