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What to Expect Before a Domestic Violence Background Check

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A domestic violence conviction can have long-reaching effects on your life and even show up on a background check when applying for employment, housing, or education. Learn more about the effects of a domestic violence background check here.

Conducting a Domestic Violence Background Check

Conducting a domestic violence background check allows people to access your public criminal record to ascertain your history to determine whether you are a risk or an asset. This information might be used to establish your fitness for a particular job or to help a potential landlord decide whether to rent to you.

Although many domestic violence offenses are committed in the heat of the moment, they are followed by serious, long-term consequences in Georgia like limiting education, employment, and housing opportunities or suspending specific professional certificates.

A domestic violence lawyer from The Waltman Firm can explain how to mitigate charges and convictions for a rash act, as well as how to clean up your criminal record to avoid future problems.

Does Domestic Violence Show Up on Background Check?

When domestic violence shows up on a background check of your state or federal criminal records, your potential employer, landlord, or school administration knows that you have committed a brutal or destructive act toward one of the following people:

  • Children
  • Current or former spouse
  • Foster children
  • Foster parent
  • Parents
  • Parent of their child
  • Stepchildren
  • Stepparent

Domestic violence also includes anyone who currently or formerly lives in the same residence. A law firm knowledgeable about Georgia laws can obtain certain information in discovery that is intended to be used in your individual case in court.

How Does Domestic Violence Show Up on Background Check?

How does domestic violence show up on a background check? When a potential employer or landlord runs a background check, they will access public records of all arrests, including Georgia domestic violence charges against a family member.

Even if the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty, your domestic violence offenses can include any criminal acts against an alleged victim, such as:

  • Assault or simple assault
  • Battery or simple battery
  • Criminal damage
  • Criminal trespass
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful restraint

Some misdemeanors may be omitted from your criminal record, but Georgia views domestic violence charges as severe, so they generally are publicly available.

What Are Domestic Violence Consequences in GA?

An attorney might be able to provide legal guidance to avoid domestic violence consequences, so they never appear on your record. Factors that determine the punishment consist of prior offenses and whether the accused has a history of domestic violence. Penalties include:

  • Anger management classes
  • Community service
  • Fine
  • Jail time
  • Probation

Those convicted of a first offense misdemeanor will receive a $1000 fine and a maximum jail sentence of 12 months. Felony or second offense convictions receive up to $10,000 fines and a maximum penalty of five years in prison. If you are found guilty, your sentence may include a Family Violence Protective Order, loss of gun rights, or registration as a sex offender if your charges include sexual assault.

If you are facing domestic violence charges or have been convicted of domestic assault, a reputable law firm can advise you of your legal rights.

What Impact Does Domestic Violence Charge Have on Background Check in GA?

Individuals with prior offenses are sometimes unsure what impact domestic violence charges have on a background check in GA. In addition to the immediate repercussions of possible fines and time in the county jail, people often face long-term consequences from having it in their public records.

How Does a Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Future Opportunities?

A domestic violence conviction on your record will make it impossible for you to get or retain certain public employment jobs that require high levels of ethics and judgment. For example:

  • Education system
  • Health care
  • Penal system
  • Social service

Plus, due to federal law, you will no longer be able to possess a firearm. Any jobs that require a gun, like police officers or security guards, will prohibit you from working there. Getting professional legal advice and more information can help you avoid criminal convictions that risk these occupational restrictions.

How to Get Domestic Violence Off My Record

If you want to know how to get domestic violence off your record, you should consult with a reputable lawyer. When someone conducts a background check, a domestic violence crime will show up on your criminal record whether you’ve been charged, convicted, or even just arrested. You may be able to remedy this.

Although record restriction and expungement are thought to be the same in many states, they aren’t. Expungement means a charge has been completely removed from the criminal record and isn’t available in Georgia.

However, in the state of Georgia, you might be able to get a record restriction, which means that convictions and charges of certain crimes will be sealed. Therefore, those offenses will only be visible on your criminal record to law enforcement officials and not available for public access. Contact your attorney for advice and assistance.

How to Get a Domestic Violence Charge Off Your Record

You need an attorney to get a domestic violence charge off your record. There are a few instances where you might be able to have your criminal record restricted in Georgia. These include the following:

  • Completed conditional requirements
  • Completed a mental health or drug rehabilitation program
  • Dismissed after charged
  • Jury acquittal
  • Juvenile conviction

Your attorney might be able to get a domestic violence charge or arrest removed from your record if you entered a conditional discharge or were a first offender.

Law Requires Domestic Violence Background Check

There are a couple of laws that require a domestic violence background check. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the government passed The Gun Control Act of 1968. It requires a Federal Firearms License (FFL) ensuring they meet certain requirements and prohibits the following types of people from buying guns:

  • Fugitives
  • People convicted and sentenced for a year or more
  • People convicted of domestic violence crimes
  • Substance abusers

Then, in 1993 after press secretary Jim Brady was shot during Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed. It requires FFLs to run background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (N.I.C.S.) before selling a gun. This process takes about 30 seconds.

How to Access Domestic Violence Records

Georgia Domestic Violence records are usually available from your local law enforcement agency. Contact the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office with the specific requirements necessary.

  • O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34: With a signed consent form, a private person or business can obtain someone’s criminal history record.
  • O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 (d.2): Without signed consent, a private person or business can obtain someone’s felony conviction records.

You can use the Georgia Felon Search website to access records with the person’s full name, date of birth, race, and sex, along with a transaction fee payable by credit or debit card.

Contact a criminal defense and personal injury attorney in Marietta GA from The Waltman Firm for a free consultation from a tenacious trial lawyer.