What are the Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Pennsylvania, you could be facing the risk of jail time and steep fines. While these consequences are serious, they are not the only way a domestic violence conviction could impact your life.

In addition to the penalties written into domestic violence statutes, there are additional consequences that can come with a conviction. These are known as collateral consequences. An attorney experienced with defending domestic violence charges in Pennsylvania could help mitigate these collateral consequences in your case.

Civil Rights

If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge – particularly a felony – you could find many of your civil rights curtailed. For example, federal law will prevent you from owning a firearm following a conviction for domestic violence. This applies to both misdemeanor and felony offenses, and the ban is permanent.

If you are convicted of a felony, you could also lose your right to vote. Regaining these rights once you lose them can be difficult, if not impossible.

Loss of Employment Opportunities

While a conviction may not directly result in challenges in your professional life, they can greatly hamper your ability to maintain employment indirectly. For many employers, a criminal background check is standard procedure. They are free to discriminate on the basis of your criminal record, which could make it difficult to obtain employment you are qualified for.

What's more, your conviction could also cost you any professional licenses you might rely on. Most entities that issue professional licenses have the right to revoke them based on certain bad acts. A conviction for domestic violence often qualifies.

Finally, if your line of work requires you to carry a firearm you could become virtually unemployable due to the loss of your gun rights.

Housing Consequences

Much like with finding a job, you could also face difficulty in arranging appropriate housing following a conviction for domestic violence. Like employers, prospective landlords also generally make use of criminal background checks. They also have the right to reject your rental application based on nothing more than your criminal conviction. This could dramatically restrict the housing options that are available to you.

Custody Rights and Divorce

A conviction for – or even allegations of – domestic violence could play an outsized role in both divorce and custody proceedings. These hearings are subjective in many ways, with the courts given broad discretion to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The same is true during the process of dividing property during a divorce hearing. A conviction for domestic violence could result in an unfavorable outcome in a divorce case or the placement of limitations on your parental rights.

Contact a Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, your conviction is never guaranteed. However, working closely with strong legal counsel could greatly improve your chances of a favorable outcome at trial. To protect your rights following your arrest, contact our Criminal Law Team as soon as possible at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.