2 years ago I was charged with simple assault to the 4th degree, it was for pulling hair and also my first and only charge ever. The judged sentenced me to be counseled with a group for 52 weeks and attend a parenting class, he stated if I did all this everything would be dropped for complying and for good behavior if I didn't have any hiccups for 2 years, well my 2 years are over. But what does the term dropped really mean? Can I purchase a firearm now or even have custody of my children if a divorce were to take place? I was charged in the state of Wa...I also pleaded guilty in court, I had no lawyer or anything , I represented my self I guess... and I'm active duty.
My answer to your question would depend on the exact resolution reached in your case.
If you have never entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Assault 4th Degree - Domestic Violence (DV) then you likely entered into what is known as a Stipulated Order of Continuance (SOC). This is typically arranged as a contract between the defendant and the prosecutor. The parties agree that the case will be continued for a period of 12-24 months on condition that the defendant complete certain conditions (pay court costs, complete DV treatment, have no new criminal law violations, etc.). If the defendant successfully completes those conditions, the prosecutor will move to dismiss the charge at the end of the continuance period (meaning that the charge is dropped). If this is what happened in your case you would be eligible to possess a firearm.
If, however, you entered a plea to the charge and received a deferred sentence, then you have a record of a criminal conviction where the finding of guilty has been withdrawn, a plea of not guilty entered and the case has been dismissed. If this is what occurred in your case you would need to take further steps to restore your right to possess a firearm.
What this appears to mean is that you got a deferred sentence for a charge of assault. If you were charged with assault domestic violence you have lost your right to possess firearms until that right is respored by a superior court pursuant to RCW 9.41.040/.047. This charge technically has no effect on whether you can have custody of your children, a superior court will determine custody issues after weighing many factors. If you have concerns about a divorce, you should absolutely discuss your case with a family law attorney in your area.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline