A conviction for a crime involving domestic violence can, and will, have significant detrimental consequences. This includes consequences that go beyond just the uncomfortable prospect of jail time and hefty fines. They can include matters involving child custody, voting rights, 2ndAmendment rights, and applications for employment and immigration. The consequences can also criminalize certain actions that previously were not deemed criminal in nature, such as having contact with a protected party.
An example of this can be found in U.S.C. 922(g)(9), which bars the possession of a gun by anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor. In interpreting U.S.C. 922(g)(9), our U.S. Supreme Court has found that it’s not even necessary for physical force to have been involved in the underlying offense for a conviction to be applicable under this particular federal statute; the case of United States v. Castleman increases the likelihood we will see more of those convicted of relatively minor domestic violence crimes in court for future gun-related offenses.
In Castle, the defendant moved for a dismissal of an indictment against him arguing that a previous conviction for the intentional or knowing infliction of bodily injury to his child’s mother hadn’t involved the use or attempted use of physical force. Thus, he asserted, it didn’t qualify as a ‘domestic violence’ misdemeanor. The district court agreed, and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s ruling. The U.S. Supreme court, however, reversed and remanded the case back down. The Supreme Court held that the defendant’s previous conviction for intentional cause of bodily injury against his child’s mother did in fact qualify as a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. The court held that the “physical force” requirement of the federal statute is satisfied by the battery conviction through the element of “offensive touching.” In short, the court found that acts of pushing, shoving, grabbing, hitting or slapping can be considered “violent,” even when it doesn’t result in a serious injury.
A direct consequence of the Supreme’s ruling (getting back to the consequences theme we discussed above) is that individuals are stripped of their Second Amendment right to bear arms if they are convicted of committing what some may otherwise see as a minor offense.
If arrested for a domestic violence related misdemeanor it is imperative that you immediately contact a Seattle domestic violence attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle domestic violence attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for assault, property destruction or some other domestic violence related crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.