Knowing your rights when charged with assaultive offenses & protective orders
People get in arguments, and in the heat of the moment, rush to call the police without thinking sometimes. They just want the other person gone or the argument to stop. The police show up and make an arrest, though. Then, when cooler heads prevail, they wish they could undo that call. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
A family violence charge will follow you
Like many other types of criminal offenses (intoxication offenses and sexual offenses), there are specific laws that deal with family violence cases. Family violence does not just involve “family” either. As defined, roommates, ex-spouses, and dating relationships qualify as family or household. For instance, although deferred probation is sometimes a possibility, the case will always stay on your record and can be used for enhancement of future cases. Such a finding will prohibit you from possessing firearms in the future. That’s why you always want to avoid a finding of “family violence” if at all possible. Also, do not talk about your case – even with your significant other. There is no legal privilege for family violence situations even if you are married.
Protective orders terms
Often, magistrates enter protective orders when a person is arrested for family violence. Be sure to read the protective order. Sometimes, depending on the facts of the case, it is possible to get the orders amended or rescinded. However, do not violate the terms of the protective order. A violation of a protective order is an additional criminal offense. A protective order is only enforceable against the accused. This means that the protected party can contact the accused, invited the accused over to the house, etc. and not violate the protective order. Even if the accused’s presence at the protected place is consensual or even invited, it is still a violation if a protective order is in place. If there is a hearing on a protective order, it is vital that you have a lawyer to represent you at the hearing. Do not just acquiesce to the protective order. Do not just ignore that there is a hearing. Failure to appear at the hearing will result in a default judgment being entered against you. The protective order hearing and the criminal case overlap. Family violence findings can be made in a protective order. Make sure your lawyer knows about and attend the protective order hearing with you.
Like sexual offenses, family violence offenses also usually fall into the classic “he said/she said” category. It’s important that you’re not convicted on a lie. Sometimes people get in fights. Sometimes people really do get hurt. Sometimes it’s justified – self-defense or defense of others. Sometimes it’s sudden passion. Every case is different. Whatever your situation, talk to Sarah about how to best defend and/or mitigate your case.
Types of Assaultive Cases Sarah Handles:
Assault / Domestic Violence
Injury to a Child
Don't ever take a plea deal without understanding your case and knowing all of your options, and do not talk to the police without your lawyer!