Being charged with domestic violence is a very serious offense that can lead to life-changing consequences, including extensive incarceration time, hefty fines, restitution, deportation (in case you are not a U.S. citizen), and impact your reputation and your professional career. Not only that; You may be forced to move out of your home, lose visitation rights, or lose custody of your children.
In Minnesota, the Domestic Abuse Act defines domestic assault if committed against a family or household member by a family or household member. By definition, a family household member is:
- Spouse or former spouse.
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
- Parents and children.
- Persons related by blood.
- Persons living together or who have lived together in the past.
- Persons who have, or had, a child in common (born or in utero), regardless of whether they were living together or ever married.
Domestic abuse is related to:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault.
- The infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault.
- Terroristic threats.
- Criminal sexual conduct.
- Interference with an emergency call.
While these legal matters and the consequences are extremely extensive, it is crucial to take action right away by contacting an attorney with experience in domestic assault to review your case and help with legal representation.
Restraining orders and the consequences
There is more than one type of Restraining Order in Minnesota law. Some of them are considered civil motions by a person, so the same person who asked for can also drop it. The other ones begin in a criminal court case after the government claims a person committed a crime and the prosecutors ask for it. These are the most important:
Civil restraining orders:
- Order for Protection (OFP).
- Harassment Restraining Order (HRO).
Criminal restraining orders:
- No Contact Condition of Pretrial Release.
- Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO).
The Order for Protection (OFP) and Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) require the respondent to have no contact with the petitioner. However, due to the nature of the relationship between the parties, more significant relief is available in an Order for Protection (OFP).
- Removal of the respondent from home.
- Awarding custody of the children.
- Awarding any pets to the petitioner.
- Ordering the respondent into domestic violence counseling or treatment.
- Awarding temporary use and possession of property shared with the respondent.
- An Order for Protection (OFP) and a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) can be granted for up to two years and may be extended if certain conditions are met.
Although most court cases are public in both civil and criminal matters, in most cases, employers only check the criminal backgrounds, not frequently checking civil records, which means that holding a criminal record has a more significant impact on a person’s life.
What can you do?
If you or a loved one has been accused of the crimes of domestic abuse and violence, seek legal advice and professional representation today.
Do not forget to collect all the evidence you have. The more information you can provide, the better your case will be built as your attorney will work to get the best possible outcome.
How can we help?
Do you need legal representation? Contact Arneson Law Office today or call our office at (612)-746-1188 to book a consultation. In case of emergency, call our 24-hour line for help at (612)-405-8010. Do not wait. Our criminal defense office in Minneapolis is available to discuss your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.