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Allegations of domestic violence are serious. If you don’t aggressively defend yourself against these sorts of allegations, you could end up facing extensive penalties that have a tremendous impact on your future. That’s why in this week’s post we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the penalties that you might face when accused of domestic violence so that you can figure out the best way to approach your criminal defense.

The penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction

A conviction for a domestic violence offense can carry significant penalties. Here are some of the most immediate and severe impacts that you could see upon conviction:

  • Prison time: Depending on the type of crime that you’re convicted of and its severity, you could end up facing several years in state prison. For example, a conviction on spousal abuse can result in up to four years in prison, but that term of incarceration can be extended if you have a prior conviction for the same offense within the last seven years. Other offenses related to domestic violence can result in years behind bars, too, and these offenses can still count toward the state’s three-strikes law.
  • Fines: Your criminal conviction can also result in an extensive fine being levied against you. In some felony cases, a convicted individual is ordered to pay as much as a $10,000 fine. Even domestic battery convictions can result in a fine of $2,000. These amounts can devastate your financial well-being for a long time to come.
  • Probation: Your criminal conviction can also lead to years of probation. While that might not sound too bad, probation can leave you feeling like you’re constantly under a microscope, and meetings with your probation office can be inconvenient and stressful. You’ll also have the feeling that any minor slipup could lead to incarceration.

The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction

As if the penalties mentioned above aren’t enough, there are significant collateral damages that are often associated with a domestic violence criminal conviction. This includes each of the following:

  • Employment problems: With a violent conviction on your record, it’s going to be hard to find, secure and maintain the employment that you want. Most employers are going to run background checks that will show your criminal history, which leaves you without the opportunity to explain your record.
  • Housing: Many landlords are hesitant to rent to an individual if they know that that individual has been convicted of a crime, especially if that crime is violent in nature.
  • Reputational damage: A criminal conviction of any sort can negatively impact your standing in the community. It can also impact your relationships with your family members and friends.
  • Family law issues: A domestic violence conviction can also have a tremendous impact on any pending family law issues. Your child’s other parent can use your conviction against you to try to limit your time with your child, which can have a negative impact on your relationship with your child.

Build the aggressive criminal defense that you need to protect your interests

As you can see, there’s a lot on the line when you’re accused of a domestic violence offense. That’s why you need to figure out your best course of action when it comes to defending yourself. Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, there may be criminal defense options that you can use to beat back the prosecution.

Therefore, now is the time to start educating yourself about your defense options. Hopefully, you can find a strategy that works to effectively protect your future.