Domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the offense here in New Jersey. Many defendants make the mistake of assuming that the deprivation of rights that occurs if they are convicted of felony domestic violence won’t be the same if they’re found guilty of the misdemeanor version of this crime. That’s not the case, though.
Anyone convicted of domestic violence, regardless of whether they were misdemeanor or felony charges, may experience a permanent loss of some of their civil rights and see their life impacted in other ways.
You lose your right to possess firearms
Your Second Amendment right allows you to possess a firearm. Any instance in which someone files a restraining order against you might require you to turn over any guns you have. If a judge or jury convicts you of domestic violence charges, you may lose access to your weapons permanently.
You could lose your job or job opportunities
This deprivation of your right to possess a gun may adversely impact your ability to remain gainfully employed. This is particularly the case if you work in a role that requires you to possess a gun, such as law enforcement or in the military.
You could be at risk of additional charges in the future
If you decide to ignore the prohibitions and law enforcement discovers that you have guns in your possession that you didn’t turn over to the court, you will face additional charges. If you were sentenced to probation instead of jail for domestic violence, you could end up losing your freedom.
Charges and a conviction aren’t the same. You owe it to yourself to abide by all court rules as your case weaves its way through the court system so that you leave your options open for the future.