A conviction for a crime related to domestic violence can have far-ranging consequences. Like any other crime, a person faces the possibility of jail, probation and fines. The terms of probation can include expensive conditions like mandatory counseling.
Convictions related to domestic violence can also hurt a person’s professional and personal reputation. Many employers and other institutions will be wary of hiring a person with a past that includes domestic violence.
Moreover, a Louisiana resident might lose his or her right to possess a firearm, adopt or foster children, or practice certain trades and professions after a domestic violence conviction.
Another huge risk of a domestic violence conviction is what it might do to a person’s child custody and visitation arrangement. In Louisiana, a person who commits certain criminal acts, even one time, may lose the option of having any custody of their children. Moreover, a court may also restrict their parenting time to supervised visits only.
Those who have more than one conviction for domestic violence, or even a single conviction combined with another documented incident, will face the same consequences.
The ban on custody and unsupervised visits is not absolute. A parent may in some cases be able to demonstrate that he or she can have custody or unsupervised parenting time, but he or she will first have to jump through several hoops.
The biggest challenge may be to demonstrate that the other parent has issues, like a drug addiction, which actually could harm the children.
A parent subject to a custody order faces the possibility of grave and long-term consequences if he or she acquires a criminal conviction related to domestic violence.
For this reason, someone charged with this type of crime should carefully evaluate the available legal options.