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5 Unexpected Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Consequences of domestic violence charge in Michigan lawyer

As with any criminal conviction, the collateral consequences of a domestic violence charge are severe and require an experienced and proven domestic violence attorney.

However, a domestic violence conviction carries additional consequences that are unique to the offense.

Below, we outline the top five most common, yet less well-known consequences for a domestic violence charge.

Are you facing domestic violence charges? Do you qualify to have a domestic violence charge expunged from your record? Unhappy with your current domestic violence attorney? Request a free consultation now.

1. Criminal Sentence

Possible Jail Time

A judge has complete discretion to sentence someone to prison, jail, and/or probation as provided by the charge.

For domestic violence, the maximum possible penalty varies.

Mostly, it depends on how many prior domestic violence convictions someone has.

Possible jail time for each offense is as follows:

  • First offense: misdemeanor, maximum of 93 days in jail
  • Second offense: misdemeanor, one (1) year in jail
  • Third offense: felony, up to five (5) years in prison

Additionally, a felony conviction for domestic violence is ineligible for expungement.

For most people, any jail time means job loss, regardless of the reason.

Whether you’re sentenced to probation or jail, any future employer may fire you for having an assaultive conviction on your record.


Judges routinely sentence those convicted of domestic violence to probation.

It doesn’t matter whether they also impose a jail sentence.

Batterer’s counseling classes or anger management classes is a standard condition of probation in a domestic violence case.

Typically, these classes require six (6) months of regular attendance.

Drug and alcohol testing are also standard probation conditions.

This is even if they weren’t involved in the alleged offense.

Additionally, testing can be required as often as five (5) times a week.

Recently, courts started relying on SCRAM tethers.

These devices continuously check for alcohol in the probationer’s system.

Beyond the inconvenience of wearing this device, the expense of renting and maintaining it is quite costly.

In addition to standard conditions of probation, nearly all domestic violence convictions result in the court imposing a “no-contact order.”

This condition can get very complicated very quickly if you shared a living space with your accuser prior to the conviction.

No-contact orders also complicate parenting time.

Therefore, additional family court dates may happen to modify custody orders.

If the accused and accuser have a child in common, a domestic violence conviction complicates child custody negotiations or agreements.

2. License Disqualifications

Concealed Pistol License (CPL)

If someone is convicted of domestic violence in Michigan, their CPL license is immediately revoked.

This is regardless of whether you’re convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.

You’re then ineligible to reapply for a CPL for eight (8) years after the conviction.

Regardless of your CPL status, federal law prohibits a person convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer.

(P.S: This includes most vendors at gun shows.)

Federal law prohibits someone with a domestic violence conviction from possessing a firearm “in interstate commerce.”

Furthermore, you can’t travel with a firearm outside Michigan or on federal land.

Professional Licenses

Did you know that licenses for medical, legal, or aviation fields can be suspended or even revoked if you’re convicted of an assaultive offense?

Additionally, Michigan law prohibits anyone convicted of domestic violence from being employed as childcare workers or teachers.

Are you facing domestic violence charges? Do you qualify to have a domestic violence charge expunged from your record? Unhappy with your current domestic violence attorney? Request a free consultation now.

3. Housing Opportunities

Landlords can (and often do) discriminate based on a criminal record.

Rental applications routinely include questions about your criminal history.

Additionally, nearly all landlords run a criminal background check.

If you live with your accuser, the landlord might evict you to comply with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Enacted in 1994, this federal law prevents a landlord from evicting the victim of domestic violence.

The law also states that landlords can evict those convicted of domestic violence without “right to cure” (i.e. without warning).

4. Civil and Family Court Consequences

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a type of restraining order issued by a Circuit Court judge that prohibits one person from contacting, harassing, or assaulting another.

The difference between a PPO and a no-contact order is this: a “no-contact” order is typically a condition of bond, whereas someone can order a PPO anytime, regardless if there’s a conviction or not.

Often, an alleged victim of domestic violence will seek a PPO in addition to the no-contact order.

You should know that a valid PPO violation can escalate a stalking charge to an aggravated stalking charge.

Violations of a PPO fall under contempt of court.

Therefore, any PPO violation is punishable by up to 93 days in prison.

5. Entry into Foreign Countries

Lastly, a domestic violence conviction can impact your ability to enter foreign countries, such as Canada.

When someone is convicted of an assaultive crime, including domestic violence, they needs to undergo Canada’s “Application for Rehabilitation process to grant entry.

While this is at the discretion of the custom’s agent, Canada is notoriously strict about not allowing people with DUI or DV convictions to enter their country.

Free Yourself from the Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Get Expert Domestic Violence Advice

As you can see, domestic violence cases are highly complex.

The consequences of domestic violence charges – felony or misdemeanor – are far-reaching and severe.

Your livelihood and your lifestyle could be ruined forever without the right representation.

Even if the facts of your case seem “simple,” an experienced domestic violence attorney and team can negotiate a plea agreement for a diversion program, which prevents a conviction from entering on your record.

That’s why having an experienced and proven domestic violence attorney review the facts of your case from the beginning is essential.

The right lawyer can very well be the difference between an acquittal and a conviction.

Are you facing domestic violence charges? Do you qualify to have a domestic violence charge expunged from your record? Unhappy with your current domestic violence attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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