By: Wallin & Klarich

Active and reserve military have major problems when arrested or charged with domestic violence. If you’re convicted, it means the end of your career.

What’s known as the “Lautenberg Amendment” makes it a felony for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of “domestic violence” (e.g., assault or attempted assault on a family member) to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition. There is no exception for military personnel engaged in official duties. The Amendment also makes it a felony for anyone to sell or issue a firearm or ammunition to a person with such a conviction. This includes commanders and NCOs who furnish weapons or ammunition to Marines or Navy knowing, or having reason to believe, they have qualifying convictions. Some civilian courts were trying to create an exception by saying a firearm could be carried in the line of duty. Marines were pleading guilty to domestic violence and thinking they would be ok. That’s absolutely incorrect and a career killer.

What qualifies as “domestic violence”? In California it’s a long list of relationships. It includes anyone you’ve dated and members of your household.

A conviction does not include Article 15s, summary court martial convictions, deferred prosecution (or similar dispositions in civilian courts).

It’s critical to know the differences. It literally makes the difference between staying in the military and being forced out. If arrested or charged with domestic violence you need an experienced lawyer to protect you. That’s Wallin & Klarich.

If you have any questions about a criminal manner, feel free to check out our website at or give us a call at any time to discuss how a Wallin & Klarich attorney can help you.

Posted In: Military