A domestic violence conviction occurs when a person is found guilty of a crime in which he or she has used or tried to use physical force against another person living in his or her household or with whom a domestic bond is shared. The specifics of the crime can vary; the person may be a spouse, child, or parent, and the offense may range from simple assault to threat with a deadly weapon. These types of crimes are often considered misdemeanors, though depending on the type of force used and the local or regional regulations, they may be categorized as felonies. Punishment associated with a domestic violence conviction can also vary, but may include prison time, probation, and treatment sessions. Those convicted typically will also lose their rights to possess firearms.
The term domestic violence conviction does not refer to conviction for a specific crime, but rather a certain type of crime that meets specific conditions. The involved parties may live together or have lived together previously, or may share a domestic link such as a child together, or may have been married. The perpetrator of the crime has committed physical violence against the victim, or in some cases may have believably threatened him or her with bodily harm or death. In many cases, the domestic violence has occurred over time in repeated instances.
Depending on the severity of the crime, someone with a domestic violence conviction may be considered guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. Factors affecting the conviction include whether it is first time offense; a repeat, simple assault; an assault and battery; and if a weapon was used. National, regional, and local laws may also vary in how the crime is defined.
There may be a variety of consequences for a domestic violence conviction, again depending on factors such as the severity of the crime and the laws where the crime was committed. Typically there is a certain amount of prison time involved. Perpetrators also may be ordered to participate in treatment including counseling for domestic violence and possibly for substance abuse if that is a factor. They will also likely be sentenced to probation and may have their activities restricted to keep them from contact with the victim. In the US, possession of a firearm is prohibited for those with a domestic violence conviction, based on a US federal law passed in 1996.