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What are the social consequences of a domestic violence charge?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Family Law

There are many possible consequences for domestic violence charges in Georgia. A judge hearing a case can hand down penalties ranging from incarceration or probation to fines. Some people plead guilty because they hate the idea of taking the matter to court and drawing more attention to their legal cases.

However, a guilty plea means that someone may have a domestic violence infraction on their criminal record. As a result, their arrest and conviction may show up any time outside parties perform background checks. And, ultimately, there are many secondary social consequences for a domestic violence charge that people may fail to consider when deciding how to respond to their charges initially. The following are just some of the collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Georgia.

Employment challenges

Many businesses include policies in their employee handbooks that allow them to terminate workers who get convicted of an offense after taking a job with the company. Particularly when the offense is a violent crime, employers may decide to end someone’s job with the company. Even if someone keeps their job, their future career development could be at risk.

Anytime someone with a domestic violence conviction applies for a new job elsewhere, the company where they apply may do a background check and discover the previous domestic violence charge on their record. Those pursuing military or law enforcement careers may find that a domestic violence conviction effectively ends their opportunity to continue working in the industry.

Educational hurdles

Employers are not the only parties that routinely perform background checks. Many educational institutions also review the criminal record of new student applicants. In fact, private scholarship organizations tend to perform background checks as well. Those who apply for new scholarships and those already receiving financial aid may lose out on opportunities because of the domestic violence conviction on their records. Even the federal financial aid programs sometimes consider recent criminal convictions when evaluating someone’s eligibility.

Social stigma

Individuals who know about someone’s domestic violence offense could share that information with others. People often assume the worst and may treat someone very differently than they did before hearing the rumors about them. A domestic violence conviction can hold someone back from the best opportunities in life and they even have a chilling effect on their personal relationships.

Mounting a thorough defense when accused of domestic violence is often the best way to avoid collateral damages including career and educational consequences that may limit someone’s options in the future.