Domestic violence in San Diego is treated very seriously, and a person accused of domestic violence can face significant civil and criminal penalties in an action brought either by the victim of the domestic violence or the local authorities, and may also lose custody and visitation rights as a result. A San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer will tell you that domestic violence is not limited to just physical acts but can include any of the following:
- Intentionally causing bodily injury
- Recklessly causing bodily injury, even where the perpetrator didn’t intend to cause injury
- Attempting to cause bodily injury, even where bodily injury did not occur
- Sexual assault
- Causing a person to feel fear of imminent bodily injury to themselves or to another person
- Psychological or emotional abuse
Domestic violence can be committed by a party against any of the following persons:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A person living in the party’s same household or former member of the household
- A person that the party is dating and/or frequently intimate with
- A person with whom the party has a child
- A person with whom the party shares family relations (e.g. a sibling, cousin, etc.)
If you believe you might be a victim of domestic violence or if you are facing any potential court or other government action relating to alleged domestic violence, it is critical that you act quickly to work with the authorities to resolve the matters. At the Law Offices of Andy Cook in San Diego, we help parties who are dealing with domestic violence matters to resolve their issues, while ensuring that the rights and interests of the parties are preserved and protected now and into the future.
Civil Actions for Domestic Violence San Diego
A person who is experiencing and/or fearing domestic violence may request a temporary restraining order against the alleged perpetrator in court, and this request can include a request for a custody or visitation order. The restraining order may be issued against a spouse or former spouse, a family member, a roommate, a dating partner, and certain others, and the restraining order may also be requested by a representative of the victim as well as the victim him or herself. Certain court documents will need to be filled out and filed, and the victim will eventually need to appear before the judge to convert the temporary restraining order, if issued, into a renewed and/or permanent restraining order, if needed. A temporary restraining order will also need to be served on the person to be restrained.
At the court hearing to convert the temporary restraining order into a renewed and/or permanent order, both parties will be required to appear, and the judge may decide custody and visitation issues at that time. Therefore, it is important that any party appearing at a court hearing for a restraining order be prepared and have their interests well-represented, as the effects of a hearing can be significant and last for many years. Contact a San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer if you need help.
Criminal Actions for Domestic Violence
A person experiencing domestic violence may also reach out to law enforcement agencies for assistance, and the police may involve themselves to prevent domestic violence even where the victim has not sought out help. A victim of domestic violence may call 911 at any time to report domestic violence and/or the violation of a restraining order, and a third party such as a neighbor who suspects domestic violence may also call 911. The police may collect evidence of injuries and damaged property and confiscate any weapons. The police can also stay present to protect a victim and may also obtain an Emergency Protective Order (“EPO”) at any time of day to protect a victim. The police may arrest a party who appears to be abusive or assign a matter to a detective who may, in turn, submit a case to the district attorney, who can then bring criminal charges against a suspect. The district attorney may choose to bring charges against a suspect regardless of whether an alleged victim cooperates with the case. While you may have seen TV shows in which a victim decides to “drop the charges,” this is a fiction; the reality is that the district attorney can bring charges against any suspect, no matter if the victim cooperates or not.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation in California Domestic Violence Matters
Given the grave importance and consequences of domestic violence matters, it is crucial that parties get the proper legal help to resolve these matters before they get worse. In dealing with domestic violence issues, it is essential to be well-represented by experienced family law attorneys who can prepare and present a persuasive case that argues for your interests in a compelling fashion. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Andy Cook possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide you with the representation you need in this critical area.