Can Domestic Violence Allegations Affect My Property?
Domestic violence is a serious and often dangerous situation for many families. To protect victims, legal tools like injunctions and protection orders can be used to separate the individuals involved. However, these tools do not leave room to consider that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Meaning if a protection order is brought against you, it will still impact your life and freedoms without a trial and without evidence. This article will outline the impact of domestic violence allegations.Domestic Violence Explainer
Domestic violence is defined as any crime committed between or toward family or household members. Family members can include spouses, former spouses, family members, or those who live together in any type of relationship-the crimes committed range from assault and battery to stalking, false imprisonment, or sexual offenses. The laws in place put an emphasis on protecting the victim without regard to the validity of the allegations, which is helpful for some situations, but can leave the accused saddled with a criminal record even if there was no wrongdoing.Consequences of Restraining Orders
Unfortunately, there are some individuals who use domestic violence allegations as a remedy to their interpersonal problems. Petty disputes can end up ruining someone's life. For example, if an argument between another household member escalates and the accused has a restraining order (also known as an "injunction for protection") brought against them, this could prohibit further contact with the alleged victim. If you live with this person, that could mean that you no longer have a place to live, and still be held responsible for property upkeep and mortgage payments.
If someone is served with an injunction for protection, there is often an assumption that this is a civil matter, especially in cases where the injunction stemmed from what was believed to be a heated argument. Injunctions are considered a criminal matter and go on your criminal record. This can impact your career, ability to find a new residence, and impact your social life. If the accuser decides to press charges and file a criminal complaint, then the protection order can also be used as evidence in the case against you.What to Do If Presented With Restraining Order
If an injunction has been served against you, it's important to treat the interaction as though you're being questioned by law enforcement. Do not sign any documents and do not admit to or acknowledge any of the information contained within. In these scenarios, time is of the essence, and it's important to confront the situation with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to limit the damage it can cause.
If convicted of domestic violence, you could face jail time, fines, and tarnishing your reputation. In some situations, you may even lose your job, or right to see your children. If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence allegations and have concerns about the potential impact they can have on your life, liberty, and property, our legal team is here to help. For a consultation, contact Petkovich Law Firm today.