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What happens on a Domestic Violence charge at Arraignment?

Arraignment on domestic violence charges officially informs you of the charges that the District Attorney has filed against you, addresses bail, sets future court dates for negotiations and trial, and also results in a "protective order" for the victim.  If the victim is not present, the Court will automatically impose a protective order which is a temporary restraining order, that prevents any contact with the "victim" during the pendency of the proceedings.  If the "victim" is present, then he or she may address the Court and ask that there not be a "no contact" order" and the Judge could impose a less restrictive "no negative contact order" which allows contact but no harassing, threatening, or assaultive type behavior.

The Judge could and does impose the no contact order in cases where the allegations and behavior is deemed dangerous regardless whether the victim states he or she is not afraid of the defendant and does not want the "no contact order".  That order results in a the defendant not being able to be within 100 yards of this person, their work, school, vehicle and not contact them directly or indirectly through a third party.  That means no email, text, phone or personal contact at all.  Violations result in custody and new charges.  If they live together, the defendant must move out and can make arrangements through their attorney and have a police officer accompany them to the house to get their things.  If there are family Court orders for child custody and visitation, then limited contact for arranging visitation and custody can be authorized by the Criminal Court.  There may be additional civil restraining orders filed by the victim which are also enforceable and independent of any Criminal protective order.

Many times in domestic violence cases the "victim" does not want to have a restraining order but does not know the importance of being in Court at the first appearance.  If there is a supportive victim, it is very helpful in handling the case and achieving the best possible outcome.  Sometimes the victims input early on can even result in no prosecution because of additional information that may not have been available at the time of arrest.  Contacting a Criminal defense attorney at the earliest opportunity can make a difference.  Call Christoph Law Offices for a free consultation at 760-941-5720.  We have been providing the highest level of personal and professional representation in domestic violence and all criminal cases for over 33 years while located across from Vista Courts.

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