We’ve previously discussed how a domestic violence charge will not only prevent you from joining the military, but even be likely to end a career in the military. When many people find this out, they assume the same would be true when it comes to police officers, but in practice, the effects of a domestic violence conviction are somewhat different when it comes to the law enforcement industry. Here’s how a conviction can affect someone’s career as a police officer, according to Vista domestic violence lawyer Peter M. Liss.
Domestic Abusers Can’t Become Police
Those who have been previously convicted for domestic assault or battery cannot be hired as police officers. That’s due to the federal laws prohibiting anyone convicted of domestic violence from possessing, transporting or owning a firearm, which are obviously required duties of a police officer. This is why anyone who has been accused of hitting or otherwise attacking their spouse, partner, ex or anyone else they have an intimate relationship with contact a Vista domestic violence attorney as soon as possible, especially if he has aspirations of joining the military or police force.
But What About Abusers Who Are Already Police Officers?
Lines become a bit more blurred when the person who has been accused of domestic assault is actually a police officer. While anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence is supposed to be removed from the force (though in reality many end up keeping their jobs), what happens to those who have been accused of the crime is less clear cut. When a restraining order is in place, the suspect will almost always be prohibited from possessing a gun and police officers subject to such restrictions will be required to be placed on administrative duty. As for abuse situations that do not involve restraining orders or where the judge allows the suspect to maintain his Second Amendment rights, the decision ultimately lies with the chief. While most departments error on the safe side and put those suspected of abuse on desk duty, some departments still allow those accused of domestic battery on active duty.
The issue of domestic violence and police becomes more even more complex when you consider some of the many studies on the frequency of such incidences in police officer relationships. In fact, two different studies have found that over 40% of police have abused their partners and that the problem is 2-4 times more common in families with a police officer than in the average American home. These studies have found that victims are less likely to report the violence because they know their partner’s co-workers and friends will be the ones sent to respond to the incidents. When incidents are reported, arrests are rarely made immediately despite the fact that this is almost always the process when someone not on the police force has been accused of the same crime. In other words, few police officers actually end up facing charges for domestic violence.
That being said, police who have been accused of this crime need to work with a top Vista domestic battery lawyer because when these cases are brought before the courts, the prosecutor may attempt to use these types of statistics to strengthen their case. When a conviction of this type could mean your livelihood, it’s important to do whatever you can to fight the charges, which may include pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
If you are a police officer or want to be one and have been accused of domestic violence, it is critical you call a domestic violence attorney in Vista as soon as possible to help you fight the charges. You can schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Image by FsHH