Although the verdict for most domestic violence cases is decided in state courts, once you are convicted for domestic violence, there are also federal laws that can come into play. One of these is a federal gun law that states that it is illegal for those who are convicted of domestic violence to possess a firearm.
Interestingly, in the eyes of the law, a conviction in a domestic violence case not only can occur when a defendant is found guilty by a judge or jury, but it can also be considered a conviction if a defendant accepts a plea bargain. Even accepting a no contest plea can lead to a conviction for domestic violence. Unfortunately, regardless of what type of plea you decide to accept, once you have been convicted for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, the federal law for firearm possession will then apply.
As of March 2014, this law became even more strict when the United States Supreme Court ruled that domestic violence convicts could not possess a firearm, even if there was no actual proof that an act of violence was committed or that a victim had actually suffered an injury. This came as a result of a decision in the U.S. v. Castleman case, in which a man from Tennessee initially pleaded guilty to charges of causing bodily injury to the mother of his child. Despite the plea, however, he maintained that there was no actual evidence of his allegedly committing physical violence.
According to FindLaw, this change in the federal law may close a reported loophole in the original federal law that has been on the law books for the last twenty years.
Those who are facing charges for domestic violence can learn more about the legal process by visiting our website.