A domestic abuse charge can hound you well into the future. A conviction may lead to imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution. And from the beginning, you will likely face a restraining order, preventing you from contacting your estranged spouse or from being anywhere near him or her.
No longer welcome in your home
A restraining order marks the beginning of your travails that could lead you down the path toward harsher penalties. A judge may issue a temporary or permanent such order which:
- Forces you from your home. You may no longer live or visit. Under certain circumstances, you may return only under police escort to recover personal belongings.
- Declares that you do not contact your spouse or partner. No surprise pop-in visits at your spouse’s home or workplace. No phone calls, texts or communication via social media. Doing any of these things may lead to additional criminal charges such as harassment, contempt of court or other felonies and misdemeanors.
- It restricts you from seeing your children. Your rights for visitation may be on hold while your case goes through the legal system. Of all the declarations from a restraining order, this one may hurt the most. You will have limited time with your children and often only under controlled situations.
A domestic abuse charge may linger with you for an extended time. Your personal and professional reputations will not be unscathed. It is important to consider all of your legal options so that you can try to carry on with your life after these allegations are resolved.