As a domestic violence lawyer, I've seen many innocent people get falsely accused. I can only help the ones who are my clients.
For a variety of reasons - political correctness, sexism, cynicism, fear of bad press - District Attorneys are reluctant to fairly resolve domestic violence cases. Instead of evaluating the unique facts of each case, District Attorneys apply a cookie-cutter approach that in many cases harms the families they're supposedly trying to help. As your domestic violence lawyer, I will do everything I can to ensure that this doesn't happen to you.
I recently represented a husband accused of assaulting his wife. The wife never accused her husband of assaulting her. The wife had no physical injuries. The person who accused the husband was a complete stranger who had served 10 years in prison on a robbery conviction, with felony assault charges currently pending against him. The wife wanted the case against the husband dismissed, and she wanted the temporary order of protection against the husband vacated. Despite all this, the District Attorney refused to heed the wife's wishes, and refused to vacate or modify the temporary order of protection while the case was pending. Throughout the case, which lasted many months, the husband and wife were both miserable because the order of protection barred them from communicating with each other. They suffered financial hardship because the order of protection forced them to maintain separate households. At a meeting, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case told the wife, "I'm ashamed for you", because the wife refused to adopt the District Attorney's position that the husband had assaulted her. Sad to say, the facts of this case are not unusual.
In domestic violence cases, District Attorneys routinely pursue an agenda that has nothing to do with justice. Overcoming that agenda on behalf of my clients is extremely satisfying.
As mentioned, District Attorneys often do not heed the wishes of domestic-violence victims. For this reason, I also represent victims. Often, these clients do not consider themselves victims; nevertheless, District Attorneys persistently label them as such. These clients seek justice or lenience on behalf of their family members.
I frequently represent domestic violence victims in cases where, against their wishes, the District Attorney:
- insists on prosecuting a family member.
- seeks a full order of protection to keep the family apart.
- refuses to dismiss criminal charges after rehabilitation has occurred.
I help victims have a say in their domestic-violence cases.
However, I never represent defendants and victims in the same case. To do so would be a conflict of interest.
Domestic-violence cases often involve simultaneous proceedings in Criminal Court, Family Court, and/or Supreme Court. Most jurisdictions now have courtrooms known as Integrated Domestic Violence Court or IDV Court, in which multiple proceedings occur.
Before domestic-violence cases are resolved, Courts routinely issue "temporary orders of protection" requiring the accused to stay away from the home, school, business, or place of employment of one or more family members. Violating a temporary order of protection can result in additional charges being filed. For example, a temporary order of protection might completely prohibit a husband from communicating with his wife. Under the circumstances, a call home by the husband to speak with his children could result in a new arrest on criminal-contempt charges if the complainant happens to pick up the phone.
Domestic-violence cases frequently involve false allegations. Charges often arise in emotionally-wrought situations; for example, where divorce is occurring. Intense turmoil sometimes inspires one family member to falsely accuse another, fueled by powerful motives such as anger, jealousy, or gaining the upper hand in a child-custody proceeding.
Unfortunately, even false allegations give rise to orders of protection, causing defendants in domestic-violence cases to be separated from their children and removed from their homes.
If you've been accused of committing a family offense, you need a domestic violence lawyer to navigate you through complex proceedings in Criminal Court, Family Court and Supreme Court. Call Bruce Yerman at 646-480-1278 for a FREE consultation.