The term is used in family law matters to describe violence (either actual or threatened) which occurs within a family including physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial or social abuse. Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse or intimate partner violence, can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. The fight in household can lead to this so it’s better to be informed.

It is often a “she said, he said” matter. Unfortunately for men, usually the police will choose to believe the woman. Who will become the victim and who will become the defendant often depends on who called the sheriff or police or who claims to have been injured.

Of course, sometimes things are not that simple, and it is always best to stay out of the system to begin with. Do not let anyone tempt you into making physical contact first. If your girlfriend is hysterical and slapping you, run the other way, get out the door, drive away: do anything but let things get to the point where you do something causing the police to be contacted.

If you think the other person is going to call the law enforcement, often the best defense is offense: call the cops yourself.

Never physically attempt to stop your partner from calling the police. This will be become an additional charge.

The D.A. decides to bring charges, no one else-not the court, not the police, not the victim. District Attorneys are motivated to do things that the public will perceive as punishing offenders and protecting society. Once the cops are called the process begins. The D.A. may feel the victim has been coerced into changing her (or his) story. Most D.A.’s assume the original claims are true.

Despite this, it is extremely helpful to defense counsel if the assaulted or abused party indicates to the police and D.A. that she or he does not want to cooperate with the prosecution.

Temporary Restraining Orders

Domestic violence and TRO‘s go hand in hand.

Many clients have been surprised at how quickly a TRO was issued against them.

The D.A.’s office can and often does request a “Protective Order” against you from being near or even contacting the other party (victim).To avoid this you need to hire a lawyer as soon as practicable to communicate to the D.A. that you pose no threat to the victim and the victim is not in fear for her/his life. Often, in response, the D.A. will settle for a “No Harass” order-merely prohibiting annoying or harassing the victim.