A domestic violence charge can have a devastating impact on your life. Such a charge will be found on your criminal record and may lead to job loss, the revocation of professional licenses, or the revocation of child custody. In California, you may also lose your right to own a firearm for 10 years to life if you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, even if you succeed in having your charge expunged.
If you are facing domestic violence charges in California, it’s imperative to discuss your case with a knowledgeable defense lawyer. At Dod Law, attorney Dod can launch a thorough investigation into the charges against you, mount an aggressive defense, and protect your rights. Do not risk losing basic privileges and hire a San Diego domestic violence defense attorney today.
What Is Domestic Violence in California?
Most people know that domestic violence involves violence between family members. The State of California defines domestic violence as abuse or threats of abuse toward a person with whom you’ve had an intimate relationship, including:
- A current or former spouse
- A person who you live with or have lived with
- The mother or father of your child
- Anyone you are or were dating
- Someone you are or have been engaged to
California’s domestic violence law is much broader than federal law. Federal law defines domestic violence as an offense that is under federal, state, or tribal law. It also includes the use or attempted use of physical force and threatened use of a deadly weapon.
An individual can commit domestic violence under federal law against:
- A current or former spouse
- A parent or guardian of the victim
- A person who has a child
When individuals receive domestic violence charges, they typically receive both California and federal charges, so it is essential to contact a San Diego domestic violence defense attorney to understand your rights.
Loss of Gun Rights after a Domestic Violence Conviction in California
California and federal laws both prohibit individuals with domestic violence convictions from possessing firearms. Furthermore, criminal courts have continually ruled that these restrictions do not violate the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The loss of gun rights may also come at the beginning of the case before a conviction. Judges at the arraignment may issue a domestic violence restraining order, which would prohibit the individual from owning, possessing, or using a firearm.
California’s Felon with a Firearm Law
Under California Penal Code 29800 PC, anyone convicted of a felony offense in any state or country cannot own, possess, purchase, or receive a firearm in California. If you are convicted of felony domestic violence, you are banned from owning or possessing a gun for life. Violating Penal Code 29800 is also a felony offense, and a conviction may lead to up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
California’s 10-Year Firearm Ban
Many domestic violence cases do not involve physical injuries. In these cases, state prosecutors may only pursue misdemeanor charges. A San Diego domestic violence defense attorney may attempt to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors to reduce a felony domestic violence charge to a misdemeanor charge.
Under Penal Code 29805 PC, there are several misdemeanor offenses in California for which a conviction may lead to a ten-year firearms ban. These include convictions of domestic battery and sexual battery. If a court convicts you or you plead guilty to one of these charges, you cannot possess, own, purchase, or use a gun for 10 years. If you violate 29805 PC by owning, possessing, or using a firearm before the ban is lifted, you may face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Federal Law Firearms Ban
It is important to remember that there is a federal ban on the use or possession of firearms by anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense. Under United States Code 922(g), a domestic violence conviction may trigger a lifetime firearms ban regardless of what state you live in. Thus, you may not be able to legally own a firearm under federal law, even if the State of California allows it. You may face up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine if you are found in possession of a gun after a domestic violence conviction if you violate the federal law.
Speak to an Experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic violence charges are treated severely in California, and you should take prompt action to secure your defense. The potential penalties you may face are harsh, even for first-time offenders. At Dod Law, we are fully equipped to thoroughly evaluate your case and represent you in court. With a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo, you can be confident that Attorney Dod will do everything possible to protect your rights. Having worked on more than 6,500 criminal cases, he has the skill and experience needed to help you resolve your domestic violence case. To schedule a free consultation, (619) 814-5110 or complete our contact form today.