A criminal charge related to domestic violence is a serious affair for a resident of the Central Valley.
Even a first-time offender can face jail time and fines under California law, as well strict probation terms and conditions like mandatory counseling and no contact with the victim. A no-contact condition of probation can mean that a person will have to find another place to live for several weeks or months.
A criminal conviction related to domestic violence can also have serious professional and personal repercussions. Some careers are effectively closed off to those convicted of domestic violence even one time.
California parents who are convicted may lose custody, parenting time
But California’s laws go further to punish those who commit crimes of domestic violence even after they have been sentenced.
For example, for about 5 years, a parent may be under what the law calls a presumption that her having physical or legal custody is not in her children’s best interests.
In practice, this means a domestic violence conviction makes it much easier for a parent to lose custody of his kids to his ex. His parenting time may also be restricted.
There are potential penalties under federal law for domestic violence
Depending on the person’s circumstances, federal laws could impose additional punishments on those who get convicted of a crime related to domestic violence.
For example, federal law prohibits offenders from owing or possessing firearms after a conviction, even if the conviction is a misdemeanor.
Also, conviction for a crime of domestic violence can lead to deportation, even if the person involved has been lawfully living in the United States for years.
The bottom line is that any charge related to domestic violence should be taken very seriously. A person accused will want to be aware of all of his or her legal rights and options before agreeing to any kind of plea bargain.