How to Get a Job with a Domestic Violence Charge in California

Free & Confidential Consultations

A domestic violence charge can create a large hurdle between you and a long-term, well-paying job. The domestic violence accusation can impact your constitutional rights and permanently damage your reputation.

Many employers avoid hiring people with a domestic violence conviction in their background due to the stigma of intimate partner abuse accusations. However, a domestic violence conviction will not leave you unemployed for the rest of your life. 

The easiest way to minimize the impact of domestic violence charges is by avoiding a conviction. An attorney at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, starts working with you from the outset to help you avoid a conviction.

How to Get a Job with a Domestic Violence Charge

There is no way to sugarcoat it–a domestic violence conviction makes a job search more difficult. Many people assume a domestic violence conviction means you cannot control your emotions and will use it as a reason to disqualify your application. We have compiled some ways you can increase your chance of getting a job after a domestic violence charge.

Avoid a Conviction

The best way to minimize the impact of a domestic violence charge is by getting it dismissed and avoiding a conviction altogether. Just because someone is charged with domestic violence does not mean they committed a crime. In some cases, a legal defense applies to your case and defeats an element of the charged offense. Valid legal defenses to domestic abuse charges include:

  • You acted in self-defense; 
  • You acted in defense of others;
  • Your accuser is seeking revenge with false allegations; or
  • Your accuser is trying to gain the upper hand in a custody dispute.

Even if your domestic violence defense does not convince the prosecutor to drop your case, it can offer valuable benefits at trial.

Participate in Intervention Programs

If an individual is sentenced to probation for a domestic violence conviction, they may be required to complete a 52-week domestic abuser treatment program. In some cases, the treatment program may offer employment opportunities for individuals who complete the course. Rehabilitation programs often make connections with organizations that can secure employment for people with felony convictions who would not otherwise get the job. 

Be Upfront About Your Charges

You should not lie about your domestic violence charges to get a position. The potential employer will likely run a background check and find out about the domestic violence accusation anyway. Be honest when an interviewer asks you about your criminal history and emphasize how much you learned from the experience. A candid response will likely earn you more respect than trying to avoid the question. 

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

A domestic violence conviction will automatically disqualify you from certain positions due to the nature of the charge and its effect on your individual rights. For example, everyone with a domestic violence conviction is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Therefore, they cannot get jobs in law enforcement or other industries that require them to possess a gun. 

A domestic violence conviction can also disqualify you from positions where you work around children or vulnerable populations, like the following employers:

  • Schools,
  • Daycares,
  • Nursing homes,
  • Hospitals, or
  • Rehabilitation facilities.

Applying for jobs where you do not meet the qualifications is a way to set yourself up for disappointment. 

What Jobs Can You Get with a Domestic Violence Charge?

Even though a domestic violence charge makes job hunting more difficult, that does not mean you will never find another job with a domestic violence conviction on your record. The jobs below are more likely to hire someone with a domestic violence charge in their background.

Construction Jobs

The construction industry offers well-paying manual labor jobs that typically hire people with a history of criminal charges. Construction workers do not interact with many people outside of their coworkers. Keep in mind that construction jobs often require other skills like the ability to lift heavy objects and perform manual labor.

Landscaping Jobs

Millions of people use landscaping services for their homes and businesses. Many landscaping jobs hire people with a criminal conviction on their record because landscaping does not require any licenses or certificates, nor does it involve any contact with anyone from vulnerable populations.

Additionally, landscaping is a labor-intensive industry where the vast majority of activity happens outdoors. Many people do not want to spend their time working outdoors, leaving the landscaping industry with a smaller pool of applicants. The constant demand for workers means that landscaping companies may hire applicants with domestic violence convictions.

Small Businesses

Many small business owners control who their company hires and are at liberty to decide what disqualifies someone from potential employment. Therefore, they can and often do hire someone with a domestic violence conviction. You should use your personal and business connections to locate potential opportunities with start-ups and small businesses. 

Does a Domestic Violence Charge Affect Employment in California?

Yes, a domestic violence charge does affect employment in California. Almost all mid-to-large employers will run a background check on anyone who applies for a job with their company. The domestic violence arrest will show up anytime someone runs your background.

Contact The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, to Discuss How to Get a Job with a Domestic Violence Charge

If you or a loved one were facing domestic violence charges, an experienced California criminal defense lawyer can work with you to secure the best possible outcome in your case. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, offers our clients superior customer service and support in the most difficult times of their lives.

We understand the damage domestic violence accusations cause and their long-term impact on your ability to get a job. Contact a criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, or connect with us through our secure online contact form

Where You Can Find Our San Diego Office

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars