Some domestic situations are not filed as misdemeanors. They are the more minor domestic situations that do not result in serious injuries or domestic violence allegations that have less severe allegations. More severe allegations and injuries that require immediate hospitalization or medical attention can be filed as felony cases.
An alleged domestic assault that results in one party having long-term damage or injuries like broken bones or loss of consciousness may be filed as a normal felony charge and can include felony consequences. It may be critical to consult a qualified domestic violence attorney who can help you understand the DC domestic violence long-term consequences you face and how to appropriately combat them.
A domestic allegation that results in a charge of assault with significant bodily injury is a felony charge that carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison and fines up to $12,500. The maximum penalties are the same whether the relationship between the people involved is a domestic relationship or a non-domestic relationship.
Even though a domestic violence allegation does not change the maximum possible penalties a person faces as a result of their charge, there are slightly different consequences when the charge being considered is a domestic charge.
Based on the relationship between the people involved in a domestic case, a judge may be more willing to use their discretion at sentencing to impose longer periods of incarceration or potentially more strict conditions of probation because of the domestic relationship than they would otherwise if the relationship was simply two people who did not know each other.
A simple assault charge filed as a domestic violence case may be more likely to result in jail time compared to a simple assault charge with similar facts between two people who were random acquaintances who ran into each other at a bar. Similar facts can result in harsher penalties because of the domestic relationship between the two people.
Depending on the conviction, there can be other DC domestic violence long-term consequences associated with someone’s case. In the event that a person is convicted of a non-domestic simple assault, that person can ask that their simple assault conviction be expunged after an eight-year waiting period.
Eight years after they completed the sentence they received for their simple assault conviction, they can make a request to have a judge seal the underlying records of their case. For public purposes, it would not appear that the person was ever convicted of the crime.
Domestic violence cases, however, are not eligible to be sealed when the person is convicted. A simple assault conviction in a domestic violence situation can never be sealed no matter how long a person waits. That means a person convicted of a domestic assault is never eligible to seal or set aside their conviction, which is different from the way a non-domestic simple assault case is handled.
DC domestic violence long-term consequences for convictions can negatively impact someone’s ability to own or possess firearms. DC law and federal law state that a person convicted of a domestic violence offense is not eligible to own or possess a firearm for a certain period of time. A person convicted of a misdemeanor simple assault that is not a domestic violence case does not have a legal ability to own or possess a firearm as a result of a misdemeanor simple assault conviction.
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