A domestic violence charge can affect several areas of your life, including your ability to find employment or remain at your current job. Even if you were charged with a misdemeanor, it would result in a criminal record that will appear in any background check. Employers are entitled by law to access any information about past criminal convictions and arrests on your history.
While there are places that hire employees that do not have a clean background check, a person with a criminal record will likely have more difficulty finding employment. This is especially true if the individual worked as a doctor, teacher, or a profession that requires a license. Depending on the severity of charges, you may lose your license.
What happens if you are already employed? In this case, we must consider that New Jersey is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer can fire you for any reason unless an agreement was previously signed defining specific reasons for you to be fired. That is the only case in which an employer is not allowed to fire you for domestic violence charges, as long as that was not outlined in the agreement as a reason for employment termination. Otherwise, nothing is stopping your employer from firing you.
Besides employment, other areas of your life also suffer the consequences of a domestic violence charge. It might prove challenging to get a loan, a mortgage, lease a vehicle, apply for college, apply for housing, or rent an apartment.
Can a Domestic Violence Charge Be Expunged From My Record?
The next question our firm receives frequently is about erasing a domestic violence charge from your criminal record. This is certainly possible, but only in some cases. It all depends on the specific charges you received. Fourteen crimes fall under the domestic violence classification, and eight of them are almost always eligible for expungement. Those are assault, terroristic threats, lewdness, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, stalking, and burglary. Certain crimes may or may not be eligible for expungement. Those include criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, and unlawful sexual contact. However, if you have been accused of kidnapping or homicide, you will not have those removed from your record.
It is in your best interest to request an eligible crime expungement as long as you fulfill the pre-requisites, such as having completed your sentence and satisfying the mandatory 10-year waiting period after sentence completion. Suppose the court believes you have redeemed yourself and remained on the right side of the law without any new arrests or felonies. In that case, you might be eligible to remove a domestic violence record from your history and get a fresh start. Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C., can help you find out if you are eligible for an expungement request and can assist you through the process. Contact us at 201-798-4024 for a case review.