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Domestic violence allegations can have serious job consequences

Being accused of any crime — including domestic violence — can have long-term consequences, not the least of which is the career of the accused. This is especially true if the person who is accused of domestic violence or related actions has a law enforcement career. Understandably, it is critical for anyone in Colorado to take any criminal claims seriously.

Although the criminal courts uphold an “innocent until proven guilty” presumption, this presumption does not extend to employment issues. Some companies or agencies are hesitant to keep a person on the payroll if he or she has been accused of a domestic violence crime. Colorado is an “at will” state, meaning any employer can legally fire an employee for any reason — without warning and without first establishing just cause for the termination — that is not covered under other laws, such as those related to people who are in protected classes.

Getting another position can also be difficult, even if the accused is not convicted of the charges. Many employers require background checks as a precursor to hiring. If a domestic violence charge is on record, this may impede an applicant’s chance of becoming gainfully employed.

The answer for those who face domestic violence charges is to be very practical and make wise — not emotional — decisions. Though it can be tempting to allow one’s anger to boil to the surface, a cool head is the best approach in preparing and presenting a defense to the allegations. Working with a legal representative who understands how to avoid the major consequences of being accused of this kind of crime will help keep emotions at bay so as to proceed in the best interests of the defendant.

Source: wbtv.com, “CMPD officer due in court on domestic violence allegations“, Mark Davenport, Sept. 2, 2014

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