Overwhelming emotions and domestic abuse go hand in hand. These strong feelings make it extremely difficult to determine what the next moves should be on both sides. If you or someone you know has been convicted for spousal abuse, then read on to see what it will mean for the future.
Probation and Classes
You’re looking at about 3 years of probation and 52 consecutive weeks of classes that teach you about abuse and how to handle the intense response you feel during fights. If you want to have successful relationships in the future, then you need to either stay away from triggers or learn how to deal with them much differently.
Spousal abuse doesn’t just affect the two parties involved, but the families and especially the children connected to the couple. These classes can give you the tools to calm down in even the most stressful of situations. The exact terms of the rest of your probation can be anything from paying fees to spending time in jail or some combination of the two.
You may have to do a specific amount of community service as well in lieu of jail time (a work-alternative program.) You’ll also check in with a judge throughout this time to ensure that you’re in compliance with your sentence.
The Fine Print of Probation
You can’t own any guns during this time, and if you’re not a US citizen then you may be deported. Your case is judged on its merits, so depending on the injuries incurred, the circumstances and your past criminal offenses, you could be facing more serious repercussions. If you violate your probation, then the judge could impose the maximum sentence allowed for a misdemeanor.
This could be up to a year in jail and $2,000 for each offense. You likely won’t come across this severe of a sentence unless there are extenuating circumstances, but the threat is there for violators. Felony charges will obviously be much harsher, including more jail time or higher fees. This charge will stay on your permanent record and can make future life events (credit card applications, employment) much more difficult.
Changing Your Mind
You can take back your guilty plea, but the courts won’t make it easy. You’ll need to have strong evidence that you were misled or confused. Simply not wanting to complete the terms of your probation won’t be a good enough reason. However, if you can show that you didn’t know of the true consequences of pleading out rather than going to trial, you may be able to successfully defend your case.
Finding an experienced lawyer could drastically change the outcome of your case. A lawyer who takes the time to learn the full story can then help get all the facts to the judge. The judge takes into account all the events surrounding the charge when trying to deliver a fair outcome.
Whether it’s community service, a fine or jail time, you’ll need to comply with all orders or risk facing additional punishments. Getting independent therapy while taking the batterer’s courses is also highly recommended to help change the behavior for good.