Over the past six weeks there has been an increase in domestic violence. Potential clients have frequently said, “The courts are closed. What I can do?”. The answer is just the same as it was before COVID-19 started to shut everything down; press criminal charges, obtain a protective order, .
Any time you are assaulted you have the right to press criminal charges. If you did not call the police department at the time of the incident, you can go to the Magistrate’s office on Hammond road and press charges. Dobson Law Firm, PLLC will send someone to accompany you to the magistrate’s office while you fill out the paperwork. We cannot tell you what you write in your affidavit, but we can ask you questions to help you identify what information to put in the affidavit such as the date and time, where you on your body you were struck, if objects such were used, history of being violent, and if there were any witness.
You can also obtain a domestic violence protective order. These are obtained by filling out a summons, affidavit, complaint, and few other documents that describe the history of violence and what occurred to you. Dobson Law Firm can help you ensure that the paperwork is filled out and give you a quiet space to fill them out versus filling them out at the courthouse. After all the paperwork is filled out, you must go to courtroom 5A and tell the judge about the violence you have been forced to endure. The judge will decide if you qualify for a DVPO or not. If you do, the judge will give you a hearing date, within the next 10 days. This hearing will determine if the protective order will stay in place for the next 12 months.
Because a DVPO has consequences, at the 10-day hearing there is a trial. At the trial a Plaintiff must show it is more likely than not that the accused attempted to cause harmer the accuser and has placed the accuser in immediate fear of serious injury, or has committed an actual act of violence. The Plaintiff has a right to have an attorney to help the put-on evidence and testimony. The defendant also has a right to an attorney, to cross examine any witness to testifies, and to put on evidence of their own. At the conclusion of all evidence, the judge decides if the allegations are more likely than not true and if a protective order should be put in place. If the protective order is put in place, if the accused violates the protective order they can be arrested and sentenced to jail.
If you are being subjected to domestic violence and need help, Dobson Law Firm is here to help. Our office remains open throughout the COVID-19 issues. We can assist you in protecting yourself, and your children. We offer free consultations over the phone or in office. Call us today, and let us advocate for you.