When compared with other violent criminal charges, allegations of domestic violence may not seem as serious. After all, it’s not like you went out in public and attacked a random stranger or tried to rob a business.
You had a heated argument with your significant other or roommate, and a neighbor called the police because of how loud it became. The police believed that the situation involved domestic violence, so you ended up arrested.
Many people accused of first-time domestic violence infractions in Texas think that pleading guilty is the best solution. It keeps them out of court and may result in a lesser offense on their record. The issue with a guilty plea to a domestic violence charge is that such allegations can have longer-lasting consequences than people realize.
A conviction could affect your firearm ownership rights
Federal law places certain restrictions on firearm ownership related to criminal convictions. Most offenses that affect your Second Amendment rights are felonies, but domestic violence is a notable exception.
Someone convicted of an act of domestic violence against their spouse could permanently lose the right to own a firearm even if the charge on their record is a misdemeanor offense or does not directly call the crime domestic assault. Any criminal offense that relates to domestic violence against a spouse could permanently make firearm ownership illegal for you.
A conviction can limit employment opportunities
Obviously, if you work in a firearm-related profession, like law enforcement or the military, a domestic violence conviction can have a negative impact on your career. Especially if you can no longer legally carry firearms, your opportunities for professional development will diminish notably after a conviction related to domestic violence.
Some employers will fire those convicted of a crime because it violates their employment contract. Other times, workers will find themselves sidelined and no longer able to qualify for promotions because of their criminal record. Every new job you apply for will likely check your criminal record, too. You might have trouble maintaining a professional license in the future, as state licensing boards often have strict standards regarding someone’s criminal background.
A criminal record will also limit your housing and educational options. Every scholarship committee, college admissions board and landlord potentially has the right to perform a criminal background check on you and may choose not to rent to you, enroll you or offer you financial aid because of a violent criminal record.
Learning the secondary consequences you could face for a domestic violence conviction could motivate you to fight back against your charges.