A criminal conviction will follow you around for the rest of your life, limiting many potential opportunities. Not only will you have difficulty finding a job, a place to live, and getting an education, but your family, friends, and reputation will also be affected.
A domestic battery conviction will do all of this and so, so much more.
The United States and the state of Illinois treat domestic violence offenders harshly. In addition to any criminal penalties, you will also be subjected to a number of other consequences that come with a domestic violence conviction. And you won’t be able to get around them.
That’s why with any criminal charge, but especially a domestic battery or domestic violence related charge, you need to fight back with the help of a skilled Illinois domestic battery attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer will protect your rights and see that you don’t have to spend the rest of your life being punished.
With that in mind, here are 5 consequences of a domestic battery conviction besides jail time.
- You can’t expunge or seal a domestic battery conviction. Remember how I mentioned that a criminal conviction follows you around for life? Well, some criminal convictions can be eligible for sealing or expungement after a certain amount of time has passed and the offender has changed their life around. This isn’t the case with a domestic battery conviction. So even if you are able to get your life back on track, you will always have to disclose that conviction on forms and it will always show up in background checks.
- You can’t own – or even possess – a gun. A domestic battery conviction prohibits you from owning or possessing a gun. If you have been charged with domestic battery, you will have to give up any guns you may own. And if you are subsequently convicted, you won’t be able to get them back. Almost 20 years ago, Congress passed the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, which prohibits the transport, shipment, ownership, and use of guns or ammunition by anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense.
- If you have kids, you could lose custody or visitation rights. When determining visitation or custody, the courts will look at what is in the best interest of the child. And since courts look down upon domestic violence, you may not get as much custody or visitation as you would like. And you might even lose those rights altogether.
- You could lose your immigration status. If you aren’t a United States citizen yet, a domestic violence conviction could negatively affect your immigration status. Under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, domestic violence convictions are grounds for deportation. Regardless of how long you’ve been here or held a visa or green card, a conviction for domestic violence can lead to deportation.
- You will have to pay for your own treatment. In many domestic battery cases, the court mandates that the offender complete a domestic violence or anger management treatment program. But guess who will have to pay for that required treatment? You will. Not only do the classes take up a lot of time, but they can also be quite expensive.
As you can see, a domestic battery conviction can have numerous repercussions besides jail time. It will affect your entire life. But it doesn’t have to. The choice is yours. Seek assistance with your domestic battery charge today to protect your life and your freedom.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.