It is often the case that when a person is facing a domestic violence charge and it is their first criminal charge, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain that keeps the accused out of jail. If you are in this position, it may seem like this is a great deal but there are other repercussions you may not be aware of. For example, a guilty plea or conviction to any domestic violence charge could result in losing your right to own a firearm for the rest of your life.
This is just one of the reasons that it is always wise to speak to a criminal defense attorney before agreeing to any plea deal. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell we will work to find the best possible outcome for your case and ensure that you know exactly what the short-term and long-term consequences will be. Call us now at (949) 585-9055 to request a free legal consultation.
The potential consequences for a domestic violence conviction
If you are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence then you can be facing as much as 364 days in county jail and fines of as much as $2,000. It is common for plea bargains to be offered to first offenders.
If you agree to the plea bargain then you will have to plead guilty to the crime. In exchange, you get a lighter sentence. For example, a common plea agreement for first-time offenders involves no jail time, completion of a 52-week domestic violence program, paying a fine, and three years of probation. Those are just the obvious consequences. As mentioned above, a guilty plea to any domestic violence charge can result in being banned from owning a firearm in California and in almost all other states.
There are defense options to a charge of domestic violence
When you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, we will consider your situation to find the best possible defense. We will review the police reports, your statement at the time of the event, and what you have to say today. We will consider what any witnesses have said and what physical evidence there is against you.
If the police illegally obtained any of their evidence, we will challenge it to have it excluded from the case. If the person who accused you of domestic violence no longer wishes to press charges, we will work to show the prosecution that they no longer have a strong enough case to convict. They may drop the charges as a result.
If they will not drop the charges then there are two options. If we believe you have a strong case or the prosecution has a weak case, we may suggest taking your case to trial. On the other hand, if there is strong evidence against you then we may work to find the best possible plea deal. However, you can count on fully understanding the short-term and long-term consequences. Call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now for a free legal consultation.