Handling Domestic Violence And No-Contact Orders
A charge of assault involving domestic violence is a very serious accusation and a very common criminal charge. It often includes proceedings involving protective orders (restraining orders).
A person commits a crime of domestic violence if he or she commits one or more of the following offenses against a family member, household member, sexual partner or intimate partner (both current and former) where the conduct constitutes a credible threat to the other person’s safety:
- Criminal threatening
- Sexual assault
- Interference with freedom
- Destruction of property
- Unauthorized entry
- Violation of a restraining order or order of protection
A Note About Modifying A No-Contact Order
It may be possible to modify no-contact restraining against you if you can sufficiently prove certain conditions are not required or possible to meet. In many cases, restraining orders may include a condition forbidding the person to obtain or possess a firearm. Such a prohibition may be modified if the prosecutor agrees and a judge signs off on the modification. Drafting the legal language to appeal conditions of a restraining order should only be handled by an experienced attorney.
A conviction for a crime involving domestic violence can have serious consequences, to include never being able to possess a firearm again. As well, if a person commits a crime involving domestic violence, there may be an enhanced prison sentence for that person.
If a person is served with any type of notice seeking a protective order against that person, that person is entitled to a hearing within five (5) days. Such a hearing is incredibly important because if a protective order is issued to someone, that order may exist for a year or more, will prevent the person from doing certain things and going certain places, prevent that person from possessing a firearm during that time, and it will be part of that person’s criminal record.
What If My Spouse Wants To Drop The Charges?
Police at the scene of a domestic disturbance has some leeway in deciding whether to place charges against either party. The injured party in a domestic assault will generally have the opportunity to provide input regarding making an arrest, but it will be the officer’s responsibility to review the circumstances and make a decision based on best judgment. The victim of assault may not always have the right to refuse to place charges against the perpetrator.
If you are charged with a crime involving domestic violence or are served with notice of a protective order, you need an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney to represent you immediately. Because a crime of domestic violence can be a misdemeanor or felony-level charge, a person convicted of it may be sent to the House of Corrections or the New Hampshire State Prison. Such a conviction will also have other dire consequences on a person’s life.