Being accused and convicted of domestic violence is a serious situation. Even if you are convicted on a misdemeanor basis, you are still in for a world of legal trouble if you don't take the situation seriously. You should hire a criminal defense attorney for your domestic violence — often referred to as DV — charge; here are reasons why.
You can lose gun rights
If you are a gun owner or wish to purchase a gun in the future, you may have these rights restricted. Certain crimes, including those of domestic violence, limit a person's ability to own firearms if they are convicted because the nature of the crime is violent. Whether you own guns for sport, hunting, or self-protection, simply owning a firearm you had prior to your conviction can put you at risk of committing a crime. Hire a criminal defense attorney if you have or want guns; your lawyer will check the laws in your state and on a federal level to see what your rights are.
You can reduce your charge
Even if the victim of your DV crime chooses not to press charges, your court conviction is still likely. You may be able to work with a criminal lawyer and the prosecuting attorney in your case to reduce your impending charge to battery or other lesser charge. A lesser charge means that if you get convicted of domestic violence in the future — which you don't want to do — the charge could be considered a first-time charge and not become a felony.
You can reduce jail time
If you have a history of domestic violence--especially if your crime involved a weapon or a minor or if you are also known to use drugs--you can face jail time for your criminal offense. Jail time can vary depending on the severity of your crime, any outstanding warrants you have, and other issues. Your criminal defense lawyer will put you in the best light to reduce your chances of going to jail. You may have to take a domestic violence or anger management class instead of going to jail.
When you are faced with a domestic violence crime, the conviction can stick with you for the rest of your life. You forfeit many of your rights when you put yourself in a situation where others could be harmed on your behalf, so make sure you hire a criminal lawyer who has experience working with domestic violence defense cases.