Just hearing the words domestic violence makes a lot of people uncomfortable. As a criminal defense attorney, my job is to uphold the Constitution, and represent my client to the best of my ability, no matter the allegation.
A domestic violence conviction creates a lot of consequences. Certainly, there are a lot of direct consequences: an individual convicted could be sentenced to jail, could be fined, and/ or could be placed on probation. But there are also collateral consequences. Collateral consequences for a conviction of domestic violence include the ineligibility to have the conviction sealed from your record, which means it will follow you around, and hurt your reputation, employment, and housing. A second collateral consequence of a domestic violence conviction is a federal firearm disability, meaning you cannot purchase, acquire, or possess firearm.
In fact, once an individual is charged with domestic violence, and there is a temporary protection order put in place as there almost always is, the same disability applies while the case is pending. In fact, the officers will ask for and confiscate all firearms at the time of arrest. This firearm disability also applies when there is a domestic violence civil protection order in place, and may apply when there is a civil stalking protection order in place.
And even further, this federal firearm disability can come into play in non-domestic violence situations. Any misdemeanor offense of violence against a family or household member can trigger this same firearm disability.
So what’s to be done? Well, contact a lawyer to inquire about filing for relief from the federal firearm disability. This requires a filing with the common pleas court in the jurisdiction in which you reside, and the judge has a lot of discretion to grant relief or not, but it’s your best bet if you are under this disability, and wish to possess, purchase, or acquire a firearm.
Contact Ashley Jones at (216) 736-8551 or [email protected] for questions regarding domestic violence cases or relief from federal firearm disabilities.