Domestic violence and assault can wreak havoc on everyone involved, and can tear families apart. Misdemeanor assault becomes a felony when it takes place in front of a child, and the state takes domestic violence very seriously. However, while the criminal justice system is there to help and protect victims, domestic violence can confuse and ruin lives on both sides of the accusation. Both victims and accused parties should obtain immediate legal counsel, as the DA’s office will often attempt to manipulate the victim and not look out for his/her best interests. Often in domestic violence cases, alternative programs are available that, when completed, offer dismissal of a case. However, domestic violence treatment programs and probations are very difficult to successfully complete, and having an attorney who is familiar with the process and can walk you through all of the probationary tasks can be a great advantage to your successful completion of such programs.
A Violence Restraining Order (VRO), under the Family Abuse Prevention Act, can be very technical. If you need to file a VRO, or if you are named in a VRO, obtain immediate legal counsel. It is critically important in every case to get copies of all relevant documents (the original restraining order that was filed and transcripts of any hearings) in order to determine what statements were previously made. Thorough research into the service and the timing of the service can sometimes result in these cases being dismissed on technicalities. Mr. Silver has a high winning percentage on these cases. He had a county contract to represent indigent people accused of these crimes, and has thus successfully represented scores of people facing VROs.
If you have a VRO filed against you, remember that it is the COURT that has ordered you to behave in a certain way, and the victim does not have the power to void the order without applying to remove the order through the court. Do not get trapped in a situation where the person holding the order invites you over, calls you, or attempts to get in contact with you while the order is in effect. Until the order is removed by the court, you are in violation if you are with or in contact with the victim, and you will always be found at fault and taken to jail even if there’s no problem or difficulty between you and the victim. For example, if you are in a car with the person holding the order and you get stopped for running a stop sign, you will be taken to jail immediately for violating the terms of your VRO, regardless of whether the person holding the order invited you into his/her car.
WE CAN HELP
Mr. Silver has experience representing individuals wishing to have orders voided or extended. He has represented both victims and people accused of these crimes. He has seen that domestic violence can happen to anybody when the heat of passion takes over, and has seen that victims often mistakenly think that the police will help them when in fact law enforcement often confuses and complicates domestic violence situations. There are many domestic violence counseling alternatives that can provide results far superior to those offered by the criminal justice system. Victims should never, ever rely on promises by the offenders that they will never do it again, but should consider forcing an offender into treatment (be it drug, alcohol, or anger treatment) and domestic violence counseling before involving the heavy hand of law enforcement.
You don’t need to lose everything! With an experienced and compassionate attorney who is familiar with the mire of domestic violence situations, you can fix the real problem, not just enact punitive measures that do not provide any real help or healing. Mr. Silver has experience working with the special Domestic Violence Units in the DA’s office to come up with creative solutions to difficult interpersonal relationships and conflicts. Contact Mr. Silver for a free phone consultation to see how felony convictions can be avoided, victims can be protected, and families can regain their senses of safety and connectedness.