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What are the penalties for a domestic offender owning a firearm?

As a previous post highlighted, a domestic dispute could result in criminal charges. A person accused of domestic violence can face serious penalties. In addition, the defendant could lose the ability to sped time with the other party involved in the dispute as well as any children involved. Whether this is a family member, spouse or a significant other, a violent change such as a domestic dispute charge could carry serious penalties. In addition, a person convicted can face harsher penalties if the person is found in possession with a firearm.

What are the penalties for a domestic offender owning a firearm? Both federal and state laws prohibit those convicted of a domestic crime from owning or having contact with firearms. The basis for this is the fact that firearms are often used to threaten, injure and even kill victims of domestic violence.

The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 makes it illegal to possess a firearm following a conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or domestic assault. In addition, under the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, it is illegal for those convicted of a domestic violence related incident or those who have an order for protection against them to possess a firearm. Being in possession of a firearm could result in additional criminal charges and serious penalties.

Because the consequences of a domestic violence are harsh and can extend to other areas of the accused's life, it is essential for defendants to be fully aware of their rights and defense options. Initiation a criminal defense could help a defendant reduce or even dismiss some or all of the charges against them.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Domestic Violence: Firearms," accessed Sept. 17, 2016

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