Are you facing domestic violence charges? If so, you probably have a lot of questions. While your lawyer is your best source for the answers that apply to your specific case and location, the following may be able to help with some of the most common concerns.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is abuse, but it doesn't necessarily equate to only physical abuse or sexual assault. Emotional, psychological, and financial abuse can also fall beneath the umbrella of domestic violence. Generally, any behavior that is used to control a partner using either physically violent or emotionally harmful means can be considered domestic violence. Other charges are also usually sought, including battery or false imprisonment, depending on the situation.
Can My Partner Drop the Charges?
Generally, no. Charges are made by a prosecuting attorney, not by the victim. This is to protect the victim, since they may be afraid or feel pressured to drop charges even if the reason for the charges is legitimate. If the prosecutor feels that there is ample evidence to indicate domestic violence, the charges will stick.
Will a Protection Order Be Filed?
Protection orders, sometimes referred to as restraining orders, must be filed by the victim. These require that you do not make any contact with those named on the order or come within a certain distance of the person. You will generally be notified of the hearing for the order so you can contest it, unless the court decides to enact an emergency order due to safety concerns.
What Repercussions Are There?
The repercussions can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the severity of the case, though most areas now apply aggressive penalties in an effort to protect victims. You may simply be placed on probation, or you may be required to serve time in custody, in a counseling program, or doing community service. In severe cases, you may be charged with murder, rape, or attempted murder, which can result in a life-long jail sentence.
Can You Still Visit Your Children?
Once again, this depends in part on the severity and details of your case. If convicted, it is likely you will lose some custody rights or will have your visitation rights severely restricted. You are likely to lose all rights to see your children if the children were also victims of abuse, either firsthand or as eye witnesses.
For more information, visit http://www.jdlarsonlaw.com or a similar website.