Loss of Gun Rights for 10 Years
Typically, in a domestic violence case, you're going to lose your gun rights for ten years. The bottom line is, the legislature has decided if those people who cannot control their temper get involved in physical altercations, hurt other people, don't deserve to have guns and that's pretty much the premise behind the domestic violence laws that takes people's guns away.
I've had a number of cases where they were weak domestic violence cases so I was able to get the charge reduced from a domestic violence or battery case down to a disturbing the peace case for example. But there's still case law that says if the root of the case is domestic violence and the person takes a conviction, they're going to lose their right to bear arms or guns for ten years.
So, you have to realize this when you get involved in one of these cases. You have to be very careful that you don't take a conviction if you don't want to lose your gun rights.
Unfortunately, sometimes people have done something or are involved in a criminal case and the prosecutors have the evidence against them. So, if they go to trial and they lose the case, not only will they lose their gun rights, they might lose their freedom. They might get a worse charge alleged against them. They might get worse terms on probation or parole depending on whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor.
So, when you're talking about gun rights, they're certainly important to many Americans, but a lot of times weighing that against your freedom and a serious criminal charge being inflicted on your record.
A lot of people basically make a decision that despite the fact they're going to lose their gun rights for ten years, they need to work out a resolution and they need to protect their freedom. They need to protect their record and do the thing that makes sense.
Plea Bargain to Avoid a Domestic Violence Conviction
So, when you're trying to make these type of decisions, the best thing that you can do is consult with a defense attorney — someone that's had these type of cases before, obviously — and someone who can really give you an evaluation on whether or not you have a chance to win the case.
Because if you don't have a chance to win the case, the next thing you're going to need to do is instruct your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutors, try and work out some sort of a plea bargain in your domestic violence case so that you can do damage control and salvage some of the things that you're able to salvage versus risking going to jail or prison, risking getting a conviction that is much harsher and higher and worse for your record than you could have got if you would have just worked out a resolution.
So, probably the first thing to do when you're talking about your gun rights in a domestic violence or battery case is to sit down with your attorney and decide whether it's the type of case you want to fight and try to win at a jury trial or it's the type of case your attorney needs to negotiate and resolve with the prosecutors.
Once you have that decision made, then typically the rest of the pieces fall into place. Obviously, you want to have a good domestic violence defense attorney by your side so you can end up with the best possible resolution.