Many people in the Portland area who are otherwise upstanding citizens may find themselves on the receiving end of a criminal charge related to domestic violence.
Most Oregonians already know that crimes related to domestic violence are serious simply because they carry social stigma and can negatively affect a person’s professional opportunities.
However, they may be surprised that even a person who has never been accused before still can face jail time as well as other penalties, including probation with mandatory counseling, fines and the like.
Convictions related to domestic violence have far-reaching consequences
Still, especially if they feel that the most serious penalties are off the table, many people who have never been through the justice system before may just decide to plead guilty.
They may think that there is nothing to worry about since, at worst, the incident was a one-time mistake.
However, there are many other potential long-term consequences to having a conviction relating to domestic violence on one’s record.
To give just one example, a person with a criminal record may have a difficult time obtaining, or keeping, any degree of custody over his children.
Oregon law creates a presumption that a parent with a documented history of abuse should not have either legal or physical custody over his children.
To be clear, this means he will not have equal parenting time with children and will not be able to participate in decision-making unless he can convince the court otherwise.
While Oregonlaw does not create the same presumption for visits, a judge may consider supervised visitation in the wake of a domestic violence conviction as well.
Particularly if she is a parent, anyone who is facing a criminal charge related to domestic violence should evaluate her legal options carefully before deciding how to handle the matter.