In the event your spouse engages in violent or threatening behavior, you need to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your children. Where there is urgent need for immediate protection, you should call 911 and be prepared to relate the events as they occurred, giving details about any injuries or threats to your life or physical safety. The police will write a domestic incident report, a copy of which you can obtain later on. In cases of extreme violence, you may need to go to the hospital or doctor and document any injuries with pictures and detailed notes.
You have the right to obtain a restraining order. Call (800) 817-5029 today to set up a consultation!
Generally, you would seek an order of protection from family court located in your county. Sometimes, however, your matter may be so serious that it proceeds as a criminal matter.
If the judge assesses your allegations to be of merit, the court will issue a temporary order of protection that may either direct your spouse to refrain from certain conduct or may vacate your spouse from the marital residence.
A new court date will be scheduled on which date the parties would be expected to appear with their respective counsel. The court may grant an adjournment in certain cases to allow the parties additional time to seek counsel. In family court, there are often opportunities to work out a settlement with the other side and avoid having to go to trial to prove your allegations and seek a finding against your spouse. Your spouse may be willing to agree on terms of a permanent order of protection , which means that the order may stay in effect, as agreed, for one to three years. If you obtain an order of protection, keep it with you at all times.
If your matter proceeds in district court based on criminal offenses, the district attorney will prosecute the case on your behalf and you will not need a private attorney to represent you. However, one disadvantage to proceeding in a criminal matter, is that the burden of proof is higher (must prove beyond reasonable doubt) than in family court (a civil court where proof is established by a fair preponderance of the evidence). Another concern may be that you and your spouse may ultimately agree on a way to settle your differences but the district attorney will be reluctant to withdraw the matter and may actually refuse to do so.
Wondering how to resolve your situation? Talk with a Nassau County family law attorney at Jane K. Cristal, P.C. today. You can reach us at (800) 817-5029.