Statistics show that one out of every four women and one in every seven men will experience physical violence in their lifetime. Although domestic violence often involves physical violence, it can also include emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and child endangerment (which occurs when a child witnesses the violence.) These issues have been increasingly publicized in the #me too movement. Even though many are now more aware of acts of violence, many still do not know what the best way to handle them is.
Victims of domestic abuse can obtain protection orders from the court by filing criminal charges against the perpetrator, or by seeking civil remedies to obtain a civil protection order prohibiting the perpetrator from having contact with and/or within a certain distance from the victim, along with other remedies available. A civil protection order is not a criminal charge and/or conviction. It is an order of the Court that is served upon the perpetrator, and further circulated to local police departments, the employer of the victim, and the school(s) of minor children, if applicable. A civil protection order may be issued for a term up to five (5) years and further extended and/or terminated early upon application of either party.
In the event that a perpetrator violates the terms of the civil protection order, the perpetrator may be held in contempt of court and criminal action may further be taken. In 2010, a law was passed which authorizes juvenile courts to issue and enforce civil protection orders against juvenile perpetrators in cases of teen dating violence and other domestic violence.
When an incident of domestic violence occurs, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Often, you will be able to obtain a temporary protective order the same day you file by going in front of the judge or magistrate immediately, to let them know what has occurred. That temporary protective order will be in place until there is a full hearing and will act just as the full protective order during the pendency of the case. The burden is on the victim at the full hearing, but they are allowed to present witnesses and exhibits as proof of the abuse.
On the other hand, if someone is being falsely accused, our attorneys can help present evidence to suggest this is the case. The civil protection order can also address temporary orders of child visitation, if children are involved. They can also require a person to stay away from a residence, school business or place of work.
Our firm will act quickly to obtain the protection you and your family need or to help defend you if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence.