Domestic Violence Conviction Defined
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 1997 The following outlines the elements of "misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence" as the term applies to the firearms restriction recently added to the Gun Control Act of 1968.
All these elements must be present for a person to have committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence:
- The person was convicted of a misdemeanor crime. The offense had as an element the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon.
- The convicted offender was at the time of the offense a current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim, or a person with whom the victim shared a child in common, or a person who was cohabitating with or had cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian, or a person who was similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.
- The convicted offender was represented by counsel or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel.
- If entitled to have the case tried by jury, the case was actually tried by a jury or the person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case tried by a jury.
- The conviction has not been expunged or set aside, or the convicted offender has not been pardoned for the offense or had civil rights restored, unless the pardon, expunging, or restoration of civil rights provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.
Conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence does not include a summary court martial conviction or imposition of nonjudicial punishment (Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice) or deferred prosecutions or similar alternative dispositions in a civilian court.
(This information was prepared by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy.)
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Release No. 97694, "DoD Takes Action Against Domestic Abusers," has lineart that can be used with this article.)