Collateral Consequences in both Misdemeanor and Felony Domestic Violence Cases.
Any domestic violence conviction may cause collateral consequences outside of any specific penalty imposed by the judge. These are just a few.
- Permanent Violent Criminal Record: Criminal records are public and accessible to employers, agencies, financial institutions, and individuals. Domestic violence looks bad because it gives the impression of a violent history.
- Gun Rights: Our laws prohibit anyone convicted of domestic violence from owning, using, or possessing firearms.
- Child Custody and Divorce: Domestic violence convictions may be used against individuals involved in child custody or divorce proceedings.
- Employment: Many employers are reluctant to consider individuals with domestic violence convictions. If employment requires a firearm, a domestic violation conviction can result in suspension, firing, or demotion.
- Immigration: Domestic violence convictions may negatively affect one’s immigration and legal status.
Domestic Violence Diversion Can Help Avoid a Permanent Conviction.
A diversion program can sometimes be negotiated in domestic violence cases. Domestic violence diversion typically involves counseling and fees. Successful completion of a diversion program results in a compete dismissal of charges. Domestic violence diversion programs are in the sole discretion of the prosecutor’s office. Your criminal defense lawyer can advocate for diversion by outlining personal and legal circumstances that warrant diversion. Diversion is a desirable outcome because it avoids a domestic violence conviction and collateral consequences. But if it’s apparent the State cannot prove the allegations, it might be wiser to reject diversion and fight charges at trial.
Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure allow for pre-trial diversion under Rule 38. A city prosecutor can also establish a deferred prosecution program under A.R.S. 9-500.22. Tempe city prosecutors sometimes permit deferred judgment agreements. In this type diversion, the judge accepts an admission of guilty, but doesn’t find you guilt. Instead, you’re sent to complete a diversion program. Once you complete the program, all the charges are dismissed and the guilty plea is set aside.
Domestic Violence Release Conditions Often Disallow Victim Contact and Prevent a Return Home.
Often the judge doesn’t allow the defendant to return home if the victim lives there. In addition, a no victim contact order it routine. This can create serious disruption and inconvenience for defendants, victims, and family members.
Motion to Modify Release Conditions.
Your Tempe criminal defense lawyer can motion the Court to modify release conditions for a return home and resumed contact with the victim and family. Whether the judge grants a modification depends upon the facts, victim input, and the prosecutor’s position. The motion is more likely granted when a victim wants the Defendant home, and the underlying allegations are minor.