Recently, our Riverside criminal defense lawyer, Ty Martinez, took on a case for a client who was charged with felony kidnapping and felony domestic violence charges. With extensive trial litigation and aggressive defense strategies, Attorney Martinez was able to have the charges dismissed for a plea to a misdemeanor false imprisonment. Because the client was only convicted of false imprisonment, there was no mention of violence on his record and he was able to keep his gun rights. This case victory was of the upmost importance, because the client is a member of the military. So how do domestic violence charges affect military personnel?
How can a domestic violence conviction affect my military career?
In 1968 the government passed the Federal Gun Control Act and then later amended it in 1996, this became known as the Lautenberg Amendment. This amendment makes it so than anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence crime is no longer legally able to possess, receive or transport guns, weapons or ammunition. Military personnel are no exemption, if a member of the military is convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crime, then they will lose their gun rights.
Each branch of the military has set standards as to what constitutes a crime of domestic violence. If a member of the military is found guilty of a violent crime of this nature, then it could have a devastating impact on their military career. NJP, or non-judicial punishment, does not enforce the Lautenberg amendment. However, if you have a qualifying conviction for domestic violence from a special or general court martial, then you will ultimately be processed for separation from the military. Even soldiers who plead guilty to a simple assault offense could be convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense which can trigger Lautenberg. It is standard military policy to take a look at the facts of your case and they can then determine whether or not your crime constitutes a domestic violence charge.
What happens if I am convicted of domestic violence?
If your case does lead to a qualifying conviction, or your command officer suspects that it will lead to a conviction, then they are ordered to strip your access to any government issued or privately owned firearms and ammunition that you possess. This means that if you are convicted of domestic violence under the Lautenberg Amendment, your military career could be over before you know it. It could also result in the loss of many of your military benefits. If you or someone you know has been accused of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence crime, then act fast. Contact military criminal defense lawyer Ty Martinez at our firm today. He has an 8.1 Excellent Rating by Avvo and he will fight diligently to help you save your military career. Call (888) 464-1038 now to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can help you beat your domestic violence charges!