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If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you’re facing penalties that could affect your ability to get a job, apply for housing, have custody over your kids, and other consequences.
Below, our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorneys discuss how a conviction would change your entire life. Read on to understand what might happen, what you can do, and how we can help.
Domestic violence charges should never be taken lightly. Those convicted of domestic violence are subject to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. If you’re found guilty of abusing or harming someone in your household, the court will not take it kindly—and few people recover their reputations after being labeled an abuser.
Domestic violence includes:
- Physical harm
- Breaching a restraining order
- Any harmful attempt to control or manipulate a domestic relationship
Domestic violence charges can be brought by a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, child, or any individual who lives with you (including roommates and housemates). Former spouses or significant others may also accuse you of domestic violence.
Facing domestic violence charges includes criminal penalties, civil penalties, and social consequences. The legal penalties for a misdemeanor conviction (i.e. the minimum punishment) are listed below.
If convicted, you could experience the following penalties:
- 5 days minimum of jail time
- 26-week mandatory group counseling
- 12 months of probation
- Community service hours
- Inability to own a gun
- Time in county jail or prison
- Permanent criminal record (yours cannot be sealed or expunged)
These penalties are harsh—and you have one chance to shake off these charges. When combined with the lifelong social consequences of conviction, they are almost unbearably difficult to deal with.
Are You Facing Additional Charges?
Keep in mind—domestic violence is a category of charges. It includes assault, battery, sexual assault, and aggravated charges. If the prosecution can prove that you were armed or threatening the life of the alleged victim, then you’re potentially facing a third-degree felony conviction.
Conviction for aggravated charges includes:
- Imprisonment between 2 and 10 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
Perhaps one of the most frustrating realizations for those who have been convicted of domestic violence is that the punishment does not end when they have served their time or completed their probation. This conviction will follow you wherever you go—which is why our domestic violence attorneys fight so hard to get charges dismissed or clients acquitted.
A conviction of domestic violence can affect any or all of the following:
- Public Employment: Most likely, someone convicted will have a difficult, if not impossible, time trying to obtain or hold any public service job such as teaching, nursing, public office, police work, etc.
- General Employment: If convicted of domestic violence, you will lose your job—especially if your job requires child care, weapon handling, or transportation of dangerous materials.
- Public Records: Your misdemeanor or felony conviction will be seen on background checks for the rest of your life. It will be difficult to find employment, especially high-level employment.
- Professional Licensing: You may lose current professional licensing (teaching, legal licensing, medical licensing, etc.) and have a difficult time obtaining future licenses.
- Child Custody: Primary child custody cannot be given to a convicted domestic violence offender. This conviction will greatly affect family relationships and rights.
- Renting & Leasing: Most landlords will flat out refuse to rent rooms, apartments, or homes to domestic violence offenders. The alleged victim will be free to end the rental agreement, and you’ll be required to move out (even if you’re been accused but not convicted).
- Loans: Obtaining a loan may also be incredibly difficult with a conviction of domestic violence and can put you in a strained financial situation. Many convicted felons go bankrupt.
With many of these consequences, finances become a burden and lead to even more problems. Financial hardship can even begin prior to trial—restraining orders (common to these charges) require you to move out of your home and cease all contact with the alleged victim, even without proof.
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction are serious. Protect yourself before your whole life is impacted! At Rudenberg & Glasser, P.A., our skilled Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorneys can protect your rights and your livelihood.
We have helped countless clients facing serious penalties get their case acquitted, dismissed, or softer penalties. We work around the clock to help clients secure their future. With thousands of cases handled, you can trust we have the experience to vigorously defend your rights.
Contact us today for a completely free consultation. We are available 24/7—don’t hesitate to call to learn your options and begin developing your defense.
- The consequences of ignoring a restraining order
- What happens when you violate your probation
- Info about being accused of a violent crime
- Information about injunctions and restraining orders