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What are the Long-Term Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in New York?

— January 28, 2022

Once someone has been arrested, this record may be found online quite easily by employers and others who conduct background checks.

Domestic violence is a serious criminal offense, and there are often additional consequences that can follow a person for years after a conviction. For these reasons, anyone who has been charged should look for an attorney with significant experience in this area. It is possible that a defense lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced, dropped, or negotiate a favorable plea deal. 

Child custody problems

Someone who has a prior domestic violence conviction may have serious problems getting custody time with their child, or they may lose their custody rights altogether. This is because the judge has to consider the best interests of the child, and the violent disposition of the person with the conviction will make the judge think it is possible that there can be future episodes of family problems involving violence or neglect. 

An arrest and conviction record

Once someone has been arrested, this record may be found online quite easily by employers and others who conduct background checks. If the disposition of the case was a conviction, this can also be found and it may reflect poorly on the person and cost them opportunities. There are some attorneys who can get records sealed or expunged, but depending on the particulars of the case, this is not always possible.

Handcuffs and key sitting on fingerprint card; image by Bill Oxford, via
Image by Bill Oxford, via

Jail time

It is possible that a person who is arrested for domestic violence will serve time in jail. Many domestic violence incidents are misdemeanors where the defendant will only serve days or weeks, however there is the possibility that a person can be charged with felony domestic violence and spend up to a year or longer in jail. People who have served time in jail tend to have higher rates of recidivism and they may have trouble finding and maintaining employment. 


One of the traditional fault-based grounds for divorce in New York is related to issues such as domestic violence and cruel treatment. The spouse who is the victim may use an incident of domestic violence as a reason to end the marriage. Even if they do not pursue a fault based divorce, the victim may choose to get a divorce through the state’s no fault divorce laws as well. The victim can also try to get a protective order from a judge, which will force their spouse to stay away from them until the divorce is filed.

Help from a family lawyer

Elliot Green Law Offices is a firm that helps people with divorce and family law issues in the Brooklyn area. Anyone who needs assistance in New York can get in touch with their attorneys to learn more.

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