Most people know that a felony conviction will have negative consequences on someone’s 2nd Amendment rights. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can have the same effect.
According to a federal statute, 18 USCS § 922, it is a crime for anyone who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence “to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition” or “to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”
A “crime of domestic violence” has been interpreted broadly by federal courts and defined by statute as having “as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.” Federal courts have interpreted “similarly situated” to include live-in boyfriends and girlfriends.
In my experience as a criminal defense attorney, I have often been surprised by some of the allegations/charges that have arisen from what most would perceive as a minor dispute between loved ones, even when no one was injured.
If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, you should be very careful about how you proceed. Even a reduction or amendment of the charge to a non-violent offense could still have detrimental effects on your 2nd Amendment rights. For some, such as law enforcement, military, and other professions this could have dire consequences on your career and future job prospects. You should always speak to a criminal defense attorney about the potential consequences of entering a plea when domestic or “family violence” has been alleged.
While I have represented people wrongly accused of domestic violence, this is a serious issue. If you or a loved one have been harmed or are in danger of being harmed by a loved one, it is important to seek help and establish healthy boundaries. The national hotline for domestic violence is 1-800-799-7233.
If you would like a free consultation about pending charges of domestic violence, call 770-474-9335.