Domestic Violence Charges, Collateral Consequences and Military Service

Domestic violence charges against military personnel pose many challenges and present very serious possible consequences some of which are not present with civilian charges.

Domestic violence charges are very serious with both criminal and civilian (collateral) consequences. In any domestic violence case, the collateral consequences can be far more devastating than any criminal penalties. This includes a first time charge of domestic violence.

By way of example, a first time domestic violence where there is a conviction will rarely lead to jail time. Instead, the defendant will typically be eligible for the Early Intervention Program which will ultimately end in a dismissal of the charges.

However, a dismissal does not mean much on the collateral consequences end of the equation. A finding of domestic violence whether in criminal court or family court kicks in a number of consequences.

For military personnel, there may be a host of employment consequences. Domestic violence can result in a bar to employment for many employers including the military. With the military, it goes further. Unlike most civilians, a firearm is not required on the job so gun rights may or may not be important. For military personnel, loss of gun rights means it is illegal to own or possess a gun.

A finding of domestic violence for military personnel can be catastrophic to a military career and to a family. Domestic violence is a very serious thing. The state of New Mexico does its best to protect victims. However, domestic violence is often over-charged or charged with no legitimate basis. It is most often the alleged victim that will yelling this the loudest. Unfortunately, once the ball is rolling, it is hard to stop even in cases where a victim gives written or even sworn statements.

Even a seemingly trivial incident can spin out of control very quickly with life-changing consequences. It is important to take these matters very seriously and it is important to act early to give yourself the best chance of a optimal outcome.

The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.

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