Anyone who is in a relationship or has a family can find themselves accused of domestic violence. If home life gets tense, and the police get called, the person the police believe is responsible can face a criminal charge in court.
Especially if they feel bad about the situation, it can be tempting for a Northern Virginia resident just to plead guilty to the charge and move on with life.
Although there are significant penalties for charges related to domestic violence, prosecutors may offer to take the most serious penalties off the table. This is true especially when the accused otherwise has a record of being an upstanding resident of this state.
However, as long as the person will still have a conviction related to domestic violence on their record, they should think twice about entering a guilty plea.
Fairfax County residents should understand all their legal options and possible defenses even if the prosecutor’s first offer is very generous and hard to pass up. This is because there are many other consequences to domestic violence convictions.
Domestic violence convictions can lead to deportation
If someone who is not a citizen of the United States gets convicted of even a single domestic violence offense in Virginia, they face the possibility of deportation. On a related point, a domestic violence conviction can affect a person’s eligibility for relief under DACA.
This is true even if, in Virginia’s state criminal courts, the punishment for the crime was very minor.
Granted, there may be some defenses available in immigration court. Still, a non-citizen has a lot to lose by pleading guilty to a crime related to domestic violence. Ultimately, they may have to leave the country.
Domestic violence convictions have other consequences too
Even one domestic violence offense can trigger other significant legal consequences which can affect citizens and non-citizens alike.
To give just a few examples, a person convicted will lose their right to possess a firearm. They may also have the right to have custody of or even see their kids restricted, and they may get barred from certain jobs and professions.