Domestic violence victims with criminal records

Domestic violence victims with criminal records

It is not uncommon for people who are victimized by domestic violence to have a criminal record themselves. This is because domestic violence victims are sometimes coerced into committing criminal acts. Other times, this is because the criminal justice system does not react appropriately to a domestic violence call and ends up arresting both the victim and the abuser — or only the victim — of committing domestic violence.

What many Maryland residents do not realize is that simply being arrested and being held in custody for a certain amount of time is enough to give them a criminal record. The arrested person does not even have to be charged with a crime — the arrest will still show up on his or her history (which is easily available for view in online searches). Things get worse, however, when accused individuals are actually charged with a crime.

If a conviction occurs, an accused person not only has to worry about his or her criminal records — now he or she has to worry about punishment. A conviction happens after a guilty plea is entered or if the court finds the accused person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in trial proceedings.

Having a domestic violence arrest or conviction on a criminal record could cause serious problems for Maryland residents while looking for work. Employers might choose not to hire them if they find they have a criminal past. A marred criminal record could also cause social problems if friends or relatives decide to look up their criminal past in easily accessible online records.

If you have an arrest or criminal history on your record, a criminal defense attorney might be able to help you clean up your criminal record and get certain items expunged.

Source: Center for Survivor Agency & Justice, “Criminal Records and Employment Rights: A Tool for Survivors of Domestic Violence,” Erika Sussman, accessed Oct. 08, 2015

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