Answers to Common Questions: Domestic Violence in California
The police have given me a temporary restraining order and I cannot enter my home. What should I do to get my personal belongings?
The most important issue at this point is to get the restraining order lifted if possible. At Cron, Israels & Stark, we are very familiar with this process, and can assist you. Do not do anything to violate the order, no matter how much you need to return home or see your children. The legal problems will ramp up fast if you do. If you need to get your personal belongings, our Los Angeles domestic violence attorney will make arrangements so that you are not at risk of being taken into custody.
I was accused of child abuse in my divorce. What should I do?
There are countless cases in which a bitter divorce leads to false accusations. When one person uses the criminal justice system to punish another without any basis, that person can face criminal charges for doing so. Unfortunately, even if the accusations are completely unfounded, you will still have to defend yourself against them. There is often a tendency to believe an alleged victim, and you may have an uphill battle. Child abuse is a very serious criminal charge, and the most important matter to resolve is getting defense counsel on your side. The quality of your defender can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
My spouse wants to cancel the restraining order against me. Is this possible?
Once a restraining order is issued, only a judge can change or cancel the order. This is a serious problem in cases of domestic violence or spousal abuse. One person, in the heat of the moment, could make serious accusations against you, but the case will not be dropped. This is an effort to protect victims from threats of further harm to get him or her to recant. Only the prosecutor can make this decision, not the person who made the initial accusation of domestic violence that led to the restraining order. Your best choice is to get an attorney who is familiar with the process of getting a restraining order canceled onto your case without delay. A temporary restraining order is more easily addressed.
Should I have a defense attorney if I am accused of domestic violence?
In our legal system, there is nothing of more importance than having a skilled criminal lawyer. This fact cannot be overstated. After someone was arrested for domestic violence, the criminal court process is stressful, emotional, confusing, and often will frequently divide family unity. Having worked within the criminal justice system for decades, and having watched many trials and verdicts, it is clear to our legal team, as well as all other that work within the system, that this is the most important factor in the final outcome of any criminal case, including those involving domestic violence. Without a skilled attorney that has a proven court record, you are taking a risk.
I have a restraining order against me. Is it true I cannot own a firearm?
Yes. In many cases, the judge will order you to sell your gun and you will be required to do so and report to the court with a Proof of Firearms Turned in or Sold form. If you cannot sell the gun, you will be required to turn it in to the police. California law does not allow those under legal action for domestic violence to have guns, and the police will hold your gun until the restraining order is ended.
Can I be arrested for not complying with a restraining order?
Yes. The alleged victim can show the order to the police and report that you violated it. If you left a voice mail message, this is enough to get you into trouble, as you are not allowed to contact the person by any means, including phone, text or email or any other type of communication media. A person who violates the restraining order can face fines or imprisonment. There are two issues that could arise, a civil issue (contempt of court) and the criminal issue (violation of court order).
For questions about misdemeanor or felony domestic violence defense, contact our firm to discuss your situation. We have the highest rating possible and are well-respected and accomplished criminal lawyers with an extensive history of success at trial.