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Can Domestic Violence Charges Or Convictions Ever Be Expunged?


No. Criminal charges could be expunged, but a restraining order could not be expunged unless it was lifted. If it was lifted, then whether or not the person could get out of the restraint of the database would be something I have not seen going well too often, so the best thing would be to fight it when it was being issued.

What Do People Do To Make Things Worse In A Domestic Violence Or Restraining Order Situation?

The first thing people do to harm their case is violating the restraining order, and that would be the worst thing they could possibly do because then they would not just be dealing with a criminal case. They would not just be dealing with the Family Court matter, but they would then also be dealing with a felony prosecution for violating the restraining order and on a second violation, they would get mandatory jail time. It would not just be a matter of days in jail, because it would involve a minimum of six months to 18 months in jail. It is a fourth degree felony to violate a restraining order.

The next thing that people do which is not a wise move is to try to do things themselves. I recently had a client who came to consult with me, and I told them we would be retained so they could just call me so we could go down with them when they were ready. They left my office, went down to the courthouse and tried to do it on their own. Their application was denied, and by Monday, the other party, his ex-wife, had gone down with her attorney and gotten a restraining order and it looked like he was the one at fault. He then violated that restraining order by texting his daughter.

There are no limits to the things people can do, and when dealing with the emotions of a relationship like that, very few people have the fortitude to just do the right thing all the time unless they were being counseled on what to do. Having contact with the victim, trying to do things by oneself and not reading the restraining order would probably be the biggest mistakes people make.

What Are The Consequences, Both Long And Short Term, Of A Domestic Violence Conviction?

They consequences start with being fingerprinted and put on a domestic violence restraining list in the database. They could then end up being forbidden from ever having contact with the person protected in the order. They might be unable to possess a firearm or weapons ever again, and that would have great repercussions if the person restrained was also a police officer, for example, because if they lost their ability to possess a firearm, they would also lose their job.

The court would also have powers as a chancery proceeding to decide things like custody to get an advantage on a divorce, issue damages, or anything of that sort, because the family judge’s powers are almost unlimited.

How Often Do You See Cases Of False Accusations? What Long Term Effect Does That Have?

I have handled a few cases like that and it would either be because someone was trying to use the act as a sword rather than a shield, and they were trying to punish the other person rather than just seek protection, or they are trying to get control of the real estate or get revenge for some slight rather than actually really needing protection, or they could be the aggressor and they could be filing the restraining order. I have seen this happen quite often just to get more custody time.

One of my client’s ex-wife would file a restraining order against him every year right before Thanksgiving, and the reason was because she did not get Thanksgivings in the divorce decree and since she wanted Thanksgivings, so that was how she did it. This just made him look worse and worse every time. He went through it on his own for a while until he retained us and we were able to craft a plan to stop her, and in fact, we had to get a restraining order against her. He has more quality in his life now that he does not have to deal with her.

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