Domestic Violence Matters
Our office has extensive experience in both representing clients in seeking Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and in defending individuals who have been wrongly accused of domestic violence. Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse that take place between a person who is abused and an abuser, who are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, dating or formerly dating, lived or living together or have a child together).
Domestic abuse is generally defined as:
- Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
- Sexual assault;
- Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (such as threats or promises to harm someone);
- Behavior such as harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace or destroying someone’s personal property.
Physical abuse is not just striking another person. Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following another or keeping another person from freely coming and going.
Abuse in domestic violence cases can also be verbal, emotional, or psychological. You do not have to be physically hit to be abused. Often, abuse takes many forms and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused.
California has Domestic Violence laws are contained in the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA). The purpose of the Act is to protect individuals from abuse at the hands of a spouse, partner, significant other, parent, child, or grandparent. Under the Act, a victim can obtain a civil restraining order against their abuser. The procedure to obtain such a restraining order involves filing a motion with the court, preparing declarations and submitting evidence to a court to prove the abuse.
Our office has obtained and defended against DVPA restraining orders for many years. We have both successfully obtained restraining orders for our clients and negotiated, where appropriate, stay away orders in the place of formal restraining orders to help Parties resolve their cases and address the underlying family and emotional issues, without the high cost of court hearings.
As a part of domestic violence cases, other issues are often involved. If there are children of the relationship, child custody and visitation orders may be needed, child support and spousal support may be resolved within restraining order action and a divorce or legal separation may be filed and negotiated at the same time as an application for a restraining order.
Our office has counseled many clients through the painful process of addressing domestic violence incidents and we have been very successful in resolving these issues favorably for our clients.