An arrest or criminal charge is frightening and has consequences far into the future. This is true whether the potential sentence is long or short. Anyone arrested for a DWI or domestic abuse needs an experienced defense attorney.
DWI law in Minnesota changes often, usually to make it stricter or to plug what is thought to be a “loophole”. Since repeat DWIs have harsher penalties, it can be important to apply as much damage control as possible in every situation. Call us at 651-639-0313 to talk about it.
Assault means to intentionally cause or attempt to cause bodily harm, or to do something with the intent of causing fear of bodily harm or death. Domestic assault is an assault against a family or household member. Both are crimes that can be charged ass misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or felonies depending on the circumstances.
A cousin of the domestic assault charge is domestic abuse under Minnesota Statute 518B. Domestic abuse is not a crime, which means the procedural standards are lower. Less proof is required for domestic abuse than for domestic assault. The end result of a domestic assault trial can be a criminal conviction. The end result of a domestic abuse hearing can be an order for protection, or OFP. An order for protection doesn’t send anyone to jail, but the violation of it might.
The order for protection was devised to deal with a serious problem: violence within the family. Some family and household members were beating and threatening each other thousands of years ago, and continue today. The problem is real, not imaginary. Some variation on the order for protection is probably necessary, but it is also misused. A certain number of orders for protection are less about protection than they are about gaining an advantage in a divorce or child custody matter.
Order for protection respondents are routinely ordered not to go home except for a very few minutes in the company of a deputy sheriff or policeman to pick up a few clothes and other possessions. Some respondents end up living in their cars, some have friends or relatives to stay with, some can afford to move into a motel. And this usually happens several days before there is any hearing. In some cases, there never is a hearing.
In addition, if there is a hearing, an order for protection can award temporary custody of children and temporary child support and spousal maintenance as well.
If you have a defense to domestic abuse, you need to assert it. If you don’t you will probably be sorry, especially if you get into a divorce or child custody dispute. You don’t want an order for protection against you. Call us at 651-639-0313 to talk about it.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT VIOLATE THE ORDER FOR PROTECTION. Some respondents attempt to reconcile by making phone calls, sending texts or emails, or having friends call. This can easily result in jail. Call us at 651-639-0313 to talk about a better solution.