Allegations of domestic violence can trigger serious collateral consequences which affect a suspect for years after charges are filed. Some defendants mistakenly assume that, because the case is a misdemeanor, or because the accuser is not credible, these consequences will not apply to them. This is not always the case. It is important to consult with an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney as soon as any allegations of domestic violence are made, in order to best protect your legal rights and mitigate the collateral consequences of domestic violence charges.
The federal Brady Act, which became effective across the United States in 1994, prevents gun ownership by anyone who has been convicted of an act of domestic violence. The Act does not rely upon a state’s classification of a crime – it defines domestic violence by its own terms. Thus, even if an action is not classified as domestic violence under Georgia law, it may nonetheless trigger Brady provisions, and prevent a defendant from owning guns. The Brady Act applies to both misdemeanors and felonies, and it imposes the ban for life. Brady bans cannot be expunged, reversed, or otherwise challenged.
Brady bans are more than just an inconvenience for gun enthusiasts or hobby collectors. They can impair a defendant’s employment, as well. Law enforcement officers, for example, must generally carry weapons as a term of their employment. A person who is prohibited from handling firearms by the terms of the Brady Act will likely be unable to find employment in the law enforcement industry. Even administrative positions could be unavailable to a person with a criminal record of domestic violence. This is why it is so important to have an attorney fight false or exaggerated allegations of domestic violence.
False and exaggerated allegations of domestic violence can be especially common in emotional family law cases involving divorce or child custody. Family court judges will, of course, take such allegations very seriously. This is why it is so important that the criminal case accurately reflect the facts of the incident before the family court judge makes any decisions about the allegations. The criminal case will occur independently of the family court case. Nonetheless, a family court judge will consider evidence of a plea agreement, any statements made to officers at the scene or detectives investigating the case, and all other information about the incident. This is why it is so important to have legal advice throughout the criminal investigation and case process. Any statement made at any point in the process can be used against an alleged defendant in the family court.
Experienced Advice for Your Domestic Violence Case
Attorney Jacob Stidham practices only criminal law and devotes his entire practice to the effective protection of defendants’ constitutional rights. Attorney Stidham represents defendants across Georgia, including Buford, Suwanee, Gainesville, and Flowery Branch. Call 678-889-7953 today to schedule a consultation with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can affect a defendant’s life for years to come, so working for an experienced attorney is essential.