Domestic Violence occurs when a spouse or other household member is the victim of a crime by their spouse, a present or former household member, or someone the victim has had a dating relationship with. Criminal acts that will constitute domestic violence include assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, and many other types of crimes. When domestic violence occurs, two distinct problems must often be addressed at the same time, as the incident can result in both a civil restraining order being issued; and, in criminal charges being filed.
This process starts with the issuance of a civil order of protection called a ' Temporary Restraining Order' or TRO, which restricts the client from contacting the victim. A TRO can impose specific types of relief, ordering the client to leave the house, even if the house is in the name of the client; and, to pay household bills that are due. After a TRO is issued, a hearing will then be held to determine whether the TRO should be converted into a 'Final Restraining Order' or FRO.
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The incident may also result in the filing of criminal charges against the client. When this occurs, the criminal charges will be heard in a different Court, which hears just the criminal part of the case. When criminal charges are filed, the defendant may have to post bail; attend court proceedings on the criminal charges; and, with the assistance of their lawyer, avoid doing anything in the civil proceeding that can unknowingly impact the client's rights in the criminal proceeding.
Defending a Client Charged with Domestic Violence
At Bailey & Orozco, we frequently represent clients who have been charged with domestic violence, in both the civil and criminal proceedings. The benefit to our clients, is in having an experienced criminal defense lawyer protect their constitutional rights in regards to the criminal charge, while minimizing the potential impact a TRO/FRO can have on the life of the client. We are often able to get the TRO dismissed, which can also result in the dismissal of the criminal charges.