Recently, the local news reported a story about a domestic violence call and a man with a gun in Spokane, Washington. On July 3, 2017, the man, identified as Daniel Craven, ended up dead, shot by the police officers who arrived first on the scene in response to the call. Domestic violence calls are often said to be one of the more dangerous calls for responding officers, but this time, it was most dangerous to the subject of the call. Exact details of what transpired have yet to be fully disclosed, but what we do know is (1) it was a domestic dispute; and (2) it involved a gun.
If you are reading this blog, own a gun, and get into a domestic dispute, make sure your gun is not on you, or Daniel Craven's story might become your story. That said, though the loss of Daniel's life is the worst case scenario, there are other social, professional, domestic and legal consequences you should know if you own a gun and are in a domestic dispute.
Socially and professionally, if you are in a domestic dispute and have a gun, your reputation is at stake. For some, it may not matter, but domestic problems are not reserved for the stereotypical type of batterer/victim relationships. Anyone, regardless of gender and socioeconomic status, can get into a heated argument and then be accused of domestic violence. Something that seems mild, such as yelling and pulling hair, can result in a domestic violence charge, and owning a gun can exacerbate the matter. In the end, an accusation made is a reputation hurt.
Domestically, there are two consequences that come to mind:
- No contact with intimate partner or family member. A protection order may be granted to the "victim" and means no contact, even if you live together. And if you own a gun, the protection order can also deny your constitutional right to it, and this restriction remains for as long as the protection order is valid, usually one year.
- No ability to recant the accusation. Many people in domestic disputes do not realize that once the accusation is made, it is out of their hands and in the hands of the state to determine if charges should be brought and pursued against the accused. If the "victim" does not want charges to be imposed, it doesn't matter; only the prosecutor has the power to dismiss charges.
Legally, you face criminal charges and a trial. If found guilty, you face fines, jail, probation, and a lifetime ban on your constitutional right to possess a gun. Even if you neither own nor want a firearm, being in the presence of one can present legal issues. Restoration of gun rights is possible under strict circumstances, but it is a long process with years in the making.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Seattle, Washington, and own a gun, you should seek legal counsel immediately, your rights depend on it. Criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi understands what's at stake in domestic violence matters, and is experienced, resourceful and aggressive when dealing with it. Contact the Law Office of Steve Karimi today to discuss your domestic violence case by using the online contact form or calling the office at (206) 621-8777.