I recently accepted an appointment to represent a defendant charged with misdemeanor battery in a domestic violence context. It was my first such case in many years.
Not much had changed, except for one thing. It is now a violation of federal law to possess a firearm if you have a DV misdemeanor conviction. Being a responsible attorney, I, of course, advised my client that this was one of the consequences, if he were to choose the district attorney’s plea offer.
I doubt that this one piece of information had much to do with his decision not to plead guilty (the case was weak anyway). Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder how many defendants who otherwise would plead guilty choose not to, as a result of this law.