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Employment Penalties of Domestic Violence

Employment:  A conviction for a criminal offense related to domestic violence may result in loss of the defendant’s job.  The advancement of computer data storage, data gathering, data selling has made it simple and inexpensive to obtain a criminal record on a potential employee for a potential employer.  Many websites can provide a criminal record background check in minutes for a few dollars.

Many employers will run a criminal background before hiring a person and may run a criminal background check during the course of employment.  When an employer sees a conviction for a criminal charge related to domestic violence, the assumption is that the employee is a violent and dangerous person.  Often this leads to not being offered a job or even being fired from employment after being with the company many years.  Likewise, a conviction for domestic violence may prevent the person from being promoted.

A plea bargain is generally considered a conviction.  A District Attorney / Prosecutor will often offer a plea bargain to a reduced charge, and / or dismiss some charges in exchange for a plea to one or more charges.  There are also plea bargains that will eventually result in a dismissal of the case.  However, in most circumstances these plea agreements are still considered convictions.

Military Consequences of a Domestic Violence conviction: A criminal domestic violence conviction is a virtual end to a military career.  A conviction for a misdemeanor criminal charge for domestic violence will prevent a person from carrying a gun / firearm or other type of weapon.  A person convicted of domestic violence will likely be involuntarily discharged or not allowed to reenlist.  Likewise, Under the Department of Defense, Directive 5220.6 a criminal domestic violence conviction will deny a person a security clearance.

Colorado Springs, Colorado and El Paso County are surrounded by military bases, Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, the Air Force Academy, Shriver, and NORAD.  Because a substantial amount of our clients are in the military, it is vital to have a criminal charge or charges for domestic violence dismissed whenever possible.  Our criminal defense attorneys have represented military clients from all of the military     installations in Colorado Springs, Colorado, El Paso County and other Colorado jurisdictions. Our lawyers are a team of seasoned criminal defense specialists with a record of success defending military clients charged with domestic violence offenses.

In addition to not being able to serve in the military with a domestic violence conviction, a person convicted of domestic violence may lose his/her military pension. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (PL 97-252, 1982) allows a state court to divide any pension earned during the period of marriage that overlaps the service period.

Professional Licenses:  A person with a criminal conviction for domestic violence could   have an effect on a person attempting to attain or renew a professional license.  Likewise, a person seeking a financial bond may be denied the bond based on a conviction for domestic violence.   This can be an issue in a profession like an attorney / lawyer, doctor, nurse, stockbroker, bond trader, real estate agent just to name a few.

Professions requiring the use of weapons, guns, firearms, and explosives:  A criminal domestic violence conviction takes away a person’s right to have a gun.  The Second     Amendment to the Constitution to the United States provides the right to bear arms.

Amendment II, Amendment 2, enacted 1791.  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

However, a conviction for a criminal charge related to domestic violence takes away the right to bear arms.  Under Federal law 18 USC § 922(g)(8 and 9)a person with a conviction for criminal domestic violence charge cannot possess, purchase, acquire, or be in possession of firearms, ammunition, or other dangerous weapons.  A violation of this Federal Statute carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in prison upon conviction.  A person that works in a profession that requires the use of a weapon,   firearm, gun, explosive or even other dangerous agents with a conviction to domestic  violence could mean the loss of employment.  Therefore, a person that works as a police     officer or other law enforcement position, fireman, some construction positions, truck driving, and other similar careers that require the use of a weapon, firearm, gun,   explosive or even other dangerous agents is likely to lose their job or be denied employment with a criminal conviction for domestic violence.  Unfortunately, many people will plead guilty to a domestic violence charge before they have a chance to get legal advice.

Divorce and Child Custody:  In many situations where a married couple or a couple with a child are involved in a situation where a person is charged with a criminal offense that involves domestic violence, the relationship may end in divorce or separation.  Custody of the children may be taken from the accused and custody awarded to the alleged victim spouse.  Because of these advantages many spouses use domestic violence allegations to gain custody, hide adultery, or otherwise gain an advantage in a divorce situation.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC