According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
Being charged with domestic violence can lead to serious legal consequences that can impact your life in various ways.
Criminal charges and penalties
Individuals accused of domestic violence may face a range of criminal charges, depending on the severity of the offense. These charges can include assault, battery or even more serious offenses like aggravated assault.
Conviction of these charges can result in hefty fines, probation, mandatory counseling and, in some cases, imprisonment.
In many cases, a court may issue a protective order, which aims to safeguard the accuser.
Violating a protective order can lead to additional criminal charges and penalties for the accused. It is important to adhere to the terms of such orders to avoid further legal repercussions.
Child custody and visitation rights
Domestic violence charges can significantly impact child custody and visitation arrangements. Courts prioritize the safety and well-being of the child, and a history of domestic violence may lead to limitations on visitation rights or supervised visitation. In some cases, the accused may lose custody altogether.
Employment and housing
A domestic violence conviction can have a profound effect on one’s employment and housing prospects. Many employers conduct background checks, and a criminal record can limit job opportunities.
Similarly, landlords may be hesitant to rent to individuals with a history of violence, which can make finding stable housing a challenge.
For non-citizens, domestic violence charges can have severe immigration consequences. Convictions for domestic violence offenses may lead to deportation, denial of entry into the country or ineligibility for certain immigration benefits.
Rehabilitation and counseling
In addition to legal penalties, a judge may require individuals charged with domestic violence to attend anger management or counseling programs. Completing these programs is often a condition of probation or parole and can demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and change.
Domestic violence charges carry significant legal consequences that can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships, employment and housing.