No one should be harmed, or live in fear!
There are 19 crimes that are considered acts of domestic violence, including, but not limited to, stalking, harassment, sexual assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, and terroristic threats.
WHAT RELATIONSHIPS QUALIFY: The Parties must be either:
2. separated, or divorced spouses;
3. individuals living together in the same household currently in the past ( includes relatives, such as grandparents, etc...);
4. individuals in a past or present dating relationship;
5. individuals who have or expect to have a child in common.
HOW IS A COMPLAINT FILED?
A victim of domestic violence may file a Complaint at the county courthouse, or if the act of domestic violence occurs when the courthouses are closed, the Complaint may be filed at the local police station. If the police are called to the scene of a domestic violence incident, they are required to arrest a defendant if the victim exhibits any sign of physical injury, a warrant is in effect, a no contact order has been violated, or there is probable cause that a weapon has been used in an act of domestic violence. The police may also arrest the defendant if there is probable cause that an act of domestic violence has occurred.
A judge will determine whether a Temporary Restraining Order is necessary to protect the complaining party, and that Oder can address barring the defendant from a shared residence, seizure of weapons, payment of support, and custody arrangements of minor children. After the TRO is issued, a hearing will be scheduled in the Superior Court to determine if a Final Restraining Order should be entered, based upon one of the 19 crimes. Unlike a criminal charge, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the victim only has to prove an act of domestic violence occurred, by a preponderance of he evidence, a much lower level of proof.
If a FRO is issued, it is permanent, is difficult to change, and the defendant will not be able to own any firearms. In addition, the defendant's name may be entered into a Domestic Violence Registry, affecting employment and other opportunities.
To sound cliche', the Domestic Violence Laws are designed to be a shield, to protect victims, not a sword to get an advantage in a divorce, or used simply out of anger to hurt the other party.
I've handle countless Domestic Violence matters, both on behalf of the victims, and people unjustly accused of Domestic Violence. If you, a family member or friend is a victim of domestic violence, or have been been falsely accused,contact my office for a free consultation.
All the Best!
RANDY C. REDDEN