Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

I’m Facing Domestic Violence Charges. Can I Still Be in Touch With My Own Children?

If a defendant’s child was present during the domestic violence incident, then endangering the welfare of the child would be included in the charges, and an order of protection would be issued on behalf of the child. As a result, the defendant would be prohibited from having any contact with the child. However, even orders of protection that are issued on behalf of the mother of the child (and not the child) make it difficult for the defendant to arrange visitation with the child. If this is the case, the best option would be to seek a visitation order from a family court that will supersede the order of the criminal court as it relates to the child.

If The Alleged Victim Changes Their Story Or Does Not Want To Press Charges After The Charges Have Already Been Filed, Will The Case Be Dismissed?

It is common for complainants to want to change their story or drop charges of domestic violence, but these decisions rest entirely in the hands of the district attorney. Furthermore, a complainant who recants allegations or changes their story can be charged with perjury for making a false police report. With that said, a recantation of the allegation would be helpful in trying to work out a disposition of the case, but it will not (under almost any circumstances) result in a dismissal of the charges.

Would You Recommend That A Client Attend Domestic Violence Or Anger Management Classes While Their Case Is Pending? Would This Help The Case, Or Indicate That The Client Is Guilty?

It’s always helpful to attend anger management or other domestic violence-related classes during the pendency of a domestic violence case. Regardless of the circumstances, the district attorney will always assume the defendant is guilty, so attending classes of this sort would not have an effect in that regard. The district attorney will be most interested in making sure that the incident will not be repeated, so seeking counseling is definitely helpful. In fact, anger management classes or counseling is almost always ordered in domestic violence cases, so getting a head start would be great.

Furthermore, the defense attorney will have more influence on where or what type of counseling is done when it is sought voluntarily rather than ordered by the court.

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