Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a topic of much attention in the United States these days. There is an emphasis in the various prosecutors’ office and law enforcement on preventing and prosecuting allegations of domestic violence. Domestic violence charges can come in two forms. First, there can be a criminal charge filed against you for domestic violence for assaults, harassment, criminal mischief and similar allegations of misconduct. In addition, separate from the criminal charge, an alleged victim can obtain a temporary restraining order, which is a civil order that prohibits contact and other activities by you against or involving the alleged victim. A domestic violence restraining order can be made final after a court hearing at which you will have the opportunity to retain an attorney, present evidence and cross-examine the alleged victim. If final, the order will bar you from any contact with the alleged victim and other restrictions. Equally important, if you violate the Temporary Restraining Order or Final Restraining Order, you face criminal charges, including mandatory county jail time if a third offense. There are numerous consequences to restraining orders, including mandatory counseling, fingerprinting and listing in a registry which may bar a person from certain jobs, such as teaching, and adoption of a child or being a foster parent.

There are many potential defenses to domestic violence allegations. The burden is on the accuser and/or the prosecutor to prove that you did something wrong. In some cases, the alleged victim may reconsider and agree to dismiss the case or agree to a resolution that does involve prosecution or a final restraining order. There are also diversion programs that may be available which can result in dismissal of the charges after a period of good behavior. Paul Brickfield has extensive experience in these matters and has achieved many good results. You should call us.