Domestic abuse cases can have serious consequences that many people don’t realize. The biggest one is the impact on the individual’s ability to carry a firearm. A federal law, known as the Lautenberg Amendment, makes it a felony for anyone who is involved in a crime of domestic violence to ship, transport, or receive firearms. This is a federal crime. The bottom line is that the federal government feels that people who have misdemeanor convictions of domestic assault should not possess firearms. The reason the Lautenberg Amendment only applies to misdemeanors is because it’s a crime to possess a firearm after any felony conviction.
The federal government considers any guilty plea—even to a deferred sentence—a conviction for purposes of the Lautenberg Amendment. If you don’t want to give up your firearms for good, then it’s crucial that you don’t get an actual conviction on your record. The period that you can’t own a firearm during a deferred sentence is the period of probation. So, once you plead guilty to a deferred sentence, you will no longer legally be able to possess a firearm. You’ll once again be able to carry a firearm once your deferred sentence is over, the case is dismissed, and it’s been expunged.
The lack of ability to possess a firearm can have severe consequences for members of the military. A serviceman can lose his or her job if they plead to even a deferred sentence. This is because every member of the military will have to use a firearm at some point in their career. A commander will not violate federal law, so it is easier to discharge someone who pleads to a job-limiting crime such as domestic abuse.
Furthermore, domestic abuse charges carry a negative stigma that other misdemeanors do not carry. Society views an assault and battery against someone with whom the perpetrator is in a relationship as worse than an assault and battery against an unknown person. Most people do not know that Oklahoma’s domestic abuse laws are very broad and cover much more than a spousal battery. And when people hear “domestic violence,” an image of a much stronger man wailing on a defenseless woman typically comes to mind. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney who understands the harsh implications of a domestic abuse charge. I am constantly trying to resolve my clients’ cases in a way that will have the least negative impact on their lives.
For more information on Hiring An Experienced Domestic Abuse Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.