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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Long Do You Have to Press Charges For Domestic Violence?

How Long Do You Have to Press Charges For Domestic Violence

 

In most states you can hold a person responsible for domestic violence through either civil or criminal cases. Depending on the state where you are located there may be some other factors impacting the stature of limitations where a person is seeking to pursue a civil case for the purposes of compensation. Read on to learn more.

Types Of Domestic Violence

When someone has suffered domestic violence that may contact the police and use the system of justice to take criminal action against the perpetrator using a prosecuting lawyer in the courts. It is vitally important to seek this option straight away, so it is more likely law enforcement officers believe the person making the accusations and they can file a police report in a timely manner. An investigation usually follows with a greater chance of a prosecuting lawyer who is local handling the matter in court. There is no set timeframe but the there is a stature of limitations for crimes of a non-major nature with the exceptions of murder and rape.

The other option is to pursue justice through the civil courts. Based ion state limits there will be a statute of limitations and normally the victim cannot go through with this course of action if the time limit has been exceeded – except under special circumstances ruled upon by a judge. This can take many years and are usually extremely tough to follow. The plaintiff will need the services of a lawyer for this.

Criminal Cases

You do not actually press charges when a victim goes to the criminal courts to seek justice. The law enforcement officers make a determination of how the victim will cooperate with the prosecuting lawyer. Often the prosecutor will not drop the case even if the victim requests this. Even if you recant on a statement, it may still go to court because of the evidence and the desire of the prosecution to see the trial through.

Statute Of Limitations

In civil cases for domestic violence claims, the statute of limitations may go from one to six years depending on your location. For criminal charges, the statute of limitations may depend on whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. This may have a significant impact on the case. There will also be state specific rules for how long the person must pursue justice with the criminal courts. This time may be from no more than a single year to up to more than three years.

Pursuing Domestic Violence Cases

The victim of domestic violence may want to pursue a civil case where monetary damages are available as opposed to a criminal case. The civil case may be followed because of expenses the victim has occurred because of important bills that need to be paid, for examples, hospital and doctor expenses. A lawyer may kick off a civil claim, but a police report is the starting point for a criminal case. Other options include a protection order or a restraining order to provide safety from the person who was violent. If a child or children are involved, you may seek emergency custody and remove the aggressor from the situation on a temporary basis. A lawyer needs to be hired as soon as possible if a civil remedy is the desired choice to make sure any statute of limitation does not run out.

Source: Hg.org, Hg.org, www.hg.org/legal-articles/pressing-charges-for-domestic-violence-what-is-the-time-limit-48722.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can also help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from DV allegations levelled against you, and help you resolve legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How To Beat Domestic Violence Charges

How To Beat Domestic Violence Charges

Matt Hicher, Esq. is our award-winning domestic violence attorney and he can help you get charges of domestic violence dismissed in Arizona. Read on to learn more.

Winning A Domestic Violence Case

It takes skilled representation to win a domestic violence case. Let’s look at some of the options available:

Filing Legal Motions To Dismiss Case

This is a formal request to the judge. Motions can be used to suppress evidence that has been obtained illegally as well limiting the liability the client may have. It can even lead to the dismissal of the case.

Persuasive Character Packets

A character packet presents information about the client to the prosecutor and/or the judge. It emphasizes the good character of the person, the circumstances surrounding the accusation as well as a lack of a serious wrongdoing in the past. Its purpose is to show the client is not necessarily a criminal and does not deserve to be given a criminal record that will be permanent or be sent to jail.

Challenging Evidence With Facts

We will review the facts as they have bene presented as well as the documents related to subpoenas and work on discovering evidence the prosecutor is unable or not willing to discover.

Note we cannot guarantee a successful outcome, but our track record speaks for itself. A domestic violence case can be won by obtaining  dismissal for the case, obtaining the dismissal prior to charges being formally filed, by persuading the prosecutor not to file charges prior to the initial court date, obtaining and winning a legal motion to dispose of the case, arranging a plea deal that is favorable and obtaining a verdict that is favorable from a jury or judge.

Defense Strategies

Let’s review some of the most frequently used defenses:

Accident

A person must have acted in a willful manner to be found guilty of a crime. An accidental act may not support a conviction. It is not the outcome but the act that is willful. If a person did not mean to injure another person as badly as they might have is no defense.

Alibi

Generally, you will not be found guilty if it can be proven you were not there when the alleged offense took place, hence the importance of an alibi. That said elder abuse is an exception as a person may be found guilty of permitting (or allowing) an injury to occur.

Consent

There are some circumstances where consensual behavior may be construed as domestic violence. For example: a couple may take martial art classes together and then practice together, injuries may result.

Insufficient Evidence

In every case the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the charge is not supported by sufficient evidence, a case dismissal or acquittal may result.

Self Defense or Defense Of Others

Certain states protect the rights of an individual to use a reasonable amount of force to prevent a crime or other illegal act taking place. In some circumstances this can even mean lethal force in certain, very limited situations.

An Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help

The impact of a conviction for a domestic violence crime can drastically alter every aspect o your life, forever. We can help by filing pre-trial motions that may dismiss the case or put a limitation on the evidence that can be used. We will collect evidence and investigate the facts of the case for you. We can negotiate for a reduction of the charges you face or even a dismissal of charges. We can ensure you have a strong defense presentation in court and challenge protective orders.

Source: S, Heidi. “A Top LA Domestic Violence Attorney Explains How to Win.” Spolin Law P.C., www.spolinlaw.com/criminal-defense-old/violent-crimes/domestic-violence/.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can also help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from DV allegations levelled against you, and help you resolve legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Domestic Violence?

What Is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be defined as any behavior that has the purpose of gaining control and power over a family member, partner or someone you are in a relationship with. Contrary to the belief of some it is not caused by mental issues, alcohol, drugs or anger but is a learned behavior. Read on to learn more.

Domestic violence is so common it represents a major health issue in the US. The more you understand what can be defined as domestic violence, the easier it is to take meaningful action against it.

It is possible abusers may not think their actions represent domestic violence. Conversely, their victims may not realize this either. If other loved ones and friends can recognize this it may help. Hence, it is vital to comprehend the many forms of domestic violence and to be able to clearly define it.

The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women definition for domestic violence is “A pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.”

Let’s look at some of the forms domestic violence can take:

Physical

This may include slapping, biting, shoving, battering, hitting, pulling hair, punching, pinching, cutting ot burning on a victim. It may also include denying someone needed medical treatment and forcing alcohol or drugs on to them.

Sexual

When a person attempts to or coerces another person into sexual behavior or sexual contact without the person agreeing to consent. This may include the attack of genitalia, physical violence often followed by marital rape or sex being forced upon a person, telling sexual jokes at the expense of the other person and sexually demeaning that person.

Emotional

Broadly, this is when the abuser purposefully deflates or invalidates another person’s sense of self-esteem or self-worth. This can range from name-calling to persistent criticism, interfering with the abilities of a person and causing harm and injury to the relationship that person has with their children.

Economic

When an abuser makes another person reliant on them from a financial standpoint. By taking total control of all financial resources and then withholding monies when needed. They may also prohibit the person from attending work or school.

Psychological

This includes involving fear in a person through threats of a physical nature, intimidation, threats to harm the person, their children of family, friends or pets as well as property destruction and intentional isolation from their support network as well as blocking the person from attending work or school.

Stalking

This may include following a person, harassing, spying, watching, arriving at the work or home of the person, collecting information about them, sending gifts, leaving written messages or making phone calls. While these acts individually are not illegal – when done on a continual basis can represent a stalking crime.

Cyberstalking

This is action performed online that can cause a great deal of emotional distress who is constantly contacted by email or other online mediums.

Definition Of Victims

Victims can be any person of any education level, socioeconomic background, age, sexual orientation, race, gender or religion. Domestic violence definitions recognize that victim may be cohabitants, children, family members, spouses, dating partners and sexual (intimacy) partners.

Dating Violence

Dating violence as defined by The Violence Against Women Act depends on the relationship between the abuser and the victim determined by the following:

  • The type of relationship
  • The relationship length
  • The frequency of interaction between the partners

Does the Definition of Domestic Violence Apply to You?

As you can see a domestic violence definition includes various forms of abuse and should be recognized as a crime that is destructive but is also the cause of life-altering damage to everyone involved in the situation. If you are confused or have questions about domestic violence and your situation, a domestic violence attorney can help you.

Source: “What Is the Definition of Domestic Violence?” Findlaw, 3 Oct. 2018, family.findlaw.com/domestic-violence/what-is-domestic-violence.html

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from DV allegations levelled against you, and help you resolve legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Can I Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped In Arizona?

Can I Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped In Arizona

Yes—you can get domestic violence charges dismissed in Arizona if there is a lack of evidence to prove you committed the crime. Read on to learn more.

For this to happen, there has to be lack of sufficient or admissible evidence for a domestic violence charge to be dismissed. In addition, the government prosecution has to show convincing evidence that beyond a doubt the defendant perpetrated the crime.

Often it is not a good idea to speak with the alleged victim and accuser even if they are someone you are very close to and you think the best way to solve the situation is without any law enforcement or legal involvement. But speaking to the alleged victim can further damage your case and it is a fact the courts as well as the police are involved once charges have been imposed. Remember, like any other state, Arizona has tough penalties for domestic violence crimes. Furthermore, if you are convicted, the consequences may impact the rest of your life, both personal and professional.

It is a fact some arguments get out of control and one party calls the cops, but what happens when the purported victims later change their mind? If you or your partner wants to get domestic violence charges dropped in Arizona there are some things you must know.  It’s not entirely “up to you” to drop charges after they are filed.

Firstly, domestic violence prosecutors in Arizona know there are circumstances when people press domestic violence charges in spite of no violence occurring. And the majority of these people attempt to have the charges dropped within a few hours or days. But dismissal of the charges is not easy as Arizona has a reputation for looking out for the accused.  Arizona is known about “law and order”.

Grounds For Dropping Domestic Violence Charges In Arizona

No Evidence

If there is insufficient evidence a crime was committed, a defendant may be able to have the charge dismissed if it cannot be proven beyond what is known as a “reasonable doubt.” In which case, there is not a charge against you the state can address, and a motion can be filed by your attorney dismissing whatever charges have been opened against you in this scenario.

Witness Is Uncooperative

A witness who is uncooperative, is someone who in good faith steadfastly refuses to take part in testifying in a truthful manner about allegations of a domestic violence. Even in circumstances where the individual alleging to be the victim wants the charges to be dropped, the case will not automatically be dismissed. Dismissal is up to the government, not the taxpayer.  The proper procedure is that the courts will look at the case even with the refusal of victim testimony. That said, the government and its assigned prosecutor often finds it a lot tougher to prove the defendant guilty in these circumstances.

Source: “Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?” Findlaw, https://family.findlaw.com/domestic-violence/can-the-victim-drop-domestic-violence-charges.html.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from them, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Long Do You Go To Jail For Domestic Violence In Arizona?

How Long Do You Go To Jail For Domestic Violence In Arizona

Make no mistake, Arizona is tough on domestic violence to the extent domestic violence is most often classified within the highest level of the three kinds of misdemeanor crimes the state has. Should you be convicted of domestic violence, you can be looking at the following:

  • Up to $2,500 in fines with additional surcharges to be paid as well as a jail sentence of six months.
  • You may have the obligation of taking part in very intensive domestic violence classes totaling 52 hours of classes which may take between six to twelve months to successfully complete.

You may also face formal probation and the costs and penalties can escalate if you have some of the following convictions in your past. Read on to learn more.

First Offence Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona

Arizona law dictates the minimum a person who is convicted of domestic violence is a total of twenty-six rehabilitation classes which focus on domestic violence.

If the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, first time offenders may be sentenced to only spending a short time in the County jail. The confinement term will depend on the seriousness of the offense. For example, a class one misdemeanor may result in a jail sentence of up to six months. Most often, first time offenders who are convicted are spared jail but that is not always the case. The next step involves the convict having to do a mandatory unsupervised or supervised Probation term. You can expect fines to be levied against you but often the Court will forgive the fine if classes and counseling are successfully achieved. The Court may also request that the convict attend anger management classes or some form of behavioral counseling as well as mandatory domestic violence counseling. Community service may also have to be performed. There also may be a court order telling the convict to stay away from the victim and if a child or children is involved in the situation, you can expect Arizona CPS to become involved.

Second Domestic Violence Charge In Arizona

After you are one and done—the second strike is not as easy.  In these circumstances you are looking at considerably greater jail time and, god forbid, for a third consecutive conviction of domestic violence, it is likely it may be a felony charge with prison time as part of the sentence.  Prison terms exceed one year as opposed to jail which is one year or less.

Third Domestic Violence Charge In Arizona

If during a period of seven years you are found guilty for a third time, your life will not improve.  What is known as aggravated domestic violence is a Class 5 felony under Arizona law and the punishment can be up to 30 months in prison for an initial conviction.  Yes prison.  Yes 2 and ½ years.

Will I Still Get Charged if the Victim Drops the Charges?

If you tell the police there was a physical altercation when they arrive but it is sorted out now and you both wish to be left alone – it is highly likely the police will interpret this as an admission of committing a crime – and arrests and subsequent charges may well follow as a result. Because many people are first time offenders, they often do not realize what they say may be interpreted by the police as self-incrimination, providing ample evidence to make an arrest or more.  Do not ever talk to police.  Another fallacy is that it is the choice of the victim to pursue charges. But once the charges are filed, the prosecutor gets to decide that and not the victim of the domestic violence.  Think long and hard, before you dial 911—sometimes there is no coming back.

Sources: “Arizona Domestic ViolenceLawyers-Attorneys Misdemeanor-Penalites.” Tucson Criminal Law & Domestic Violence Information, https://www.tucsoncriminallaw.com/Arizona-Domestic-Violence-Lawyers-Misdemeanor-Penalites.

“Arizona Domestic Violence Laws.” Findlaw, https://statelaws.findlaw.com/arizona-law/arizona-domestic-violence-laws.html.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from them, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Prove Innocence in Domestic Violence

How to Prove Innocence in Domestic Violence

It can be immensely frustrating to go through the legal process when you have been accused of acts of domestic violence you did not commit. From restraining orders to court dates, not to mention the possibilities of arrest or even jail time and the fees from attorneys can add great stress to what are already difficult circumstances. Add not being able to have contact with your child or children and the prospect of facing consequences such as a long stretch of incarceration and it can break almost anyone.

Is there a way a prosecutor will decide to drop charges of domestic violence? Normally this will only happen in two circumstances, read on to learn more.

Proving Innocence

When you honestly did nothing wrong it is highly likely the charges of domestic violence against you will be dropped. There is an obligation of ethics binding prosecutors to ensure not a conviction but to make sure justice is done in each and every case they handle. When it is believed by the prosecutor that a crime has not been committed, or the evidence is insufficient to support the likelihood of a conviction, they are obligated to dismiss the case for not meeting with agreed and accepted standards of ethics.

Convincing law enforcement of your innocence can be multi-faceted if you want to be successful. Electronic evidence (for example, a CCTV camera) may show you were not even at the location at the time the incident was alleged to have taken place. Accusations of violence may not be backed up by the available physical evidence, however, although your instinct may be to protest as much as you can to law enforcement of your innocence, be very cautious about whatever you say or information you share with law enforcement.

Can The Victim Drop the Charges?

People sometimes falsely think charges of domestic violence are initially filed and then dropped by the person alleging to be the victim of said acts. This is not the case. They are in fact filed by prosecutors with the county or state. In circumstances where an alleged victim decides not to testify or will only testify under protest when it comes to trial, it may be there is insufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution – this is up to the prosecutor to determine. Many jurors go to great lengths to ensure a verdict of guilty is not passed in situations when the alleged victim has made their own decision that the case should not even be handled in a court.

Proving Innocence with a Domestic Violence Attorney

Without question, it is crucially important to seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you want your charges of domestic violence to be correctly assessed and argue on your behalf that they should be dropped.

Source: Coble, Christopher. “How to Get a Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed.” Findlaw, 21 Mar. 2019, https://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2017/04/how-to-get-a-domestic-violence-charge-dismissed.html.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from them, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Should I Do If I Am Falsely Accused Of Domestic Violence?

What Should I Do If I Am Falsely Accused Of Domestic Violence

Charges of domestic violence are taken very seriously by courts. The truth whether you are innocent or guilty is the mere allegation of such acts can have a stigma that impact your life forever.

Undoubtedly millions of people are the victims of domestic violence every year. Sadly, a small number create and fabricate stories for reasons that are often revenge related. Besides being incredibly hurtful to the accused, they also hurt the credibility of genuine domestic violence victims. If you face accusations of committing acts of domestic violence or have even been charged with acts of domestic violence, it is crucial to contact a lawyer well versed in domestic violence law without delay – even when you have done nothing untoward.

What’s Domestic Violence?

A common belief is an act of physicality towards a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife or partner defines domestic violence. This is not true. The participants in a case or cases of domestic violence do not have to be in a current or even former romantic relationship with one another for domestic violence laws to apply to their situation. For that matter, physical action is not the sole cause of acts of domestic violence.

Under Arizona law, domestic violence is defined thus: “Abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.

That definition is expanded so people who are related by marriage or blood are included as are other people who live in the same housing unit. The definition includes threatening physical acts even if they are not performed as well as physical acts that are performed. These charges can also be expanded to include the following:

  • Throwing things at the victim (the victim does not have to be struck by them)
  • Stalking
  • Abuse that is sexual in nature
  • Psychological and mental abuse
  • Personal property destruction
  • Cyberbullying

In certain circumstances, depending on the seriousness of the allegations, whether weapons were threatened with use or were used as well as the age of the individuals concerned in the case, charges for domestic violence can either be felonies or misdemeanors and the punishments will range according to those categorizations.

Understanding Charges of Domestic Violence

There are many and varied reasons why individuals may be accused of domestic violence. From disputes arising during the process of a divorce, from the stresses of child custody processes and hearings as well as the stress that comes from cohabiting in whatever relationship circumstances under one roof. In situations where the alleged victim is looking to gain marital assets during the divorce process or looking for custody of the children that have resulted from the marriage – they may be under the impression that if the other party is facing allegations or charges of acts of domestic violence, they will gain the upper-hand in the litigation.

Nonetheless, it is a fact a percentage of victims of domestic violence later decide not to pursue the charges they originally made or in some cases, they recant their testimony. Sadly, it is often a case of too little, too late. The decision to pursue charges of domestic violence lies entirely with the local government prosecutor. Domestic violence allegations are rightly taken very seriously and if the prosecutor decides to pursue charges the skills of a domestic violence attorney are vital in advocating for you.

Domestic Violence Lawyers Can Defend You

Facing wrongful accusations can be a shattering experience for everyone and can really damage your life and your future. The domestic violence attorneys at The Canterbury law Group can show help you to navigate the court system and reach the best possible result.

Source: Bajaj, Vikas. “What to Do When You Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence Charges.” Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC, 11 Apr. 2019, https://www.bajajdefense.com/what-to-do-when-you-have-been-falsely-accused-of-domestic-violence-charges/.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from DV allegations levelled against you, and help you resolve legal issues that inevitably arise.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Explain Child Custody to a Child

In Arizona family courts, judges often do everything in their power to keep divorce proceedings from negatively impacting children’s emotional well-being, especially when there are contentious custody proceedings taking place. Most judges discourage parents from even speaking to the children about custody disputes. However, at some point parents getting a divorce will eventually have to explain the divorce and custody arrangements to the children. It will have to be done regardless of the type of custody arrangement the court ultimately orders.

Explaining custody to a child can be a bit difficult if the child is still quite young. The process may be easier for an older teen, but they are still emotionally vulnerable as well. You can always ask for family Law help in Scottsdale to get pointers in explaining custody arrangements to children. Here are several tips from divorce experts who have navigated these waters before you:

Tell Them the Important Facts of the Custody Arrangement

You don’t need to explain the intricate legalities of joint or sole custody to children. However, you will have to explain terms of the custody arrangement as simply as possible, because it will affect them more profoundly than you. Here are the things you should tell children:

  • With which parents the kids will stay, or how much time they will have to spend at each parent’s house. These courts ordered parenting time allocations are not optional and must be followed by both parents, and the children.
  • The parent who will drop them off and pick up from school.
  • The parent who will handle transportation.
  • Repeatable schedules with each parent.
  • Living arrangements for the summer or annual vacation times (e.g. Spring or Fall Break).

Avoid Distressing Subjects

You don’t have to explain to children why the custody arrangement is the way it is, or why the parents went through a divorce. Do not bad mouth the other parent in front of the children, either. Doing some of these things may even land you in trouble with the court. Do not discuss child support, alimony or other money issues with the children either. If something is not of immediate concern to the wellbeing of the child, avoid the subject.  Money and property and other adult issues should remain discussed between counsel and the parents, not the minor children.

Let Them Know They are Loved

Children of divorced parents may experience a host of negative emotions, including feelings of abandonment or guilt. Some children feel like it is “their fault” that Mom and Dad split up.  It’s important to let the children know that both parents love them even if the parents are now divorced. Don’t leave any room for them to be alarmed about the custody arrangement. Show them that it is in their best interest. If the children have to spend time at two locations, tell them it is so because both parents want to take part in both their lives. Explain custody in a positive note so children are not unnecessarily distressed and worried with the new realities post-Decree.

Let them Feel Comfortable with Lawyers and Mediators

Children in the middle of contentious divorces may have to put up with strangers whom they keep encountering like lawyers and court-appointed advisors or interviewers. It’s important that children become familiar with these people and this process and not feel ambushed.  If explaining custody is too much for you, you can ask your lawyer to gently break the news to them. The lawyer will be familiar with what information is allowed by the court and what is not, to tell directly to the children.

It’s never easy to discuss divorce or custody with children. Hopefully, the above suggestions will help.  Regardless, you should rely on your chosen legal professional to help you navigate these critical and choppy waters.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Scottsdale Domestic Violence: Civil Law and Criminal Law

The attorneys at Canterbury Law Group help clients obtain orders of protection in Scottsdale. We also assist in determining if your domestic violence case is a civil or criminal case.
In domestic violence situations, there may be both civil and criminal matters occurring at the same time as a result of the same violent act. You may want to pursue both civil and criminal actions for maximum protection. The major differences have to do with who takes the case to court, the reason for the case, and the possible penalties.

  • Civil Law – In a civil domestic violence action, you are asking the court to protect you from the person abusing you. You are not asking the court to send that person to jail for committing a crime. However, if the abuser violates the civil court order, s/he may be sent to jail for the violation. In a civil case, you are the person bringing the case against the abuser and (in most circumstances), you have the right to withdraw (drop) the case if you want to. A Scottsdale order of protection is requested in civil court. Once granted, they usually are valid for a period of one year and they sometimes can be renewed by the person originally obtained the order of protection.
  • Criminal Law – In stark contrast, the criminal law system handles all cases that involve violations of criminal law such as harassment, assault, murder, theft, etc. As such, only the government, via the local prosecutor or grand jury can make the final decision to “bring charges” against the bad actor who has engaged in bad acts.
    A criminal complaint involves your abuser being charged with a crime. In a criminal case, the prosecutor (also called the district attorney) is the one who has control over whether the case against the abuser continues or not. It is the county/state who has brought the case against the abuser, not the victim. It is possible that if you do not want the case to continue (if you do not want to “press charges”), the prosecutor might decide to drop the criminal charges but this is not necessarily true. The prosecutor can also continue to prosecute the abuser against your wishes and can even issue a subpoena (a court order) to force you to testify at the trial live under oath.

It is essential to contact an attorney to evaluate and invoke your rights when dealing with domestic violence either when allegations are brought against you, or where you bring them against another. Contact our Scottsdale lawyers today to schedule your consultation. www.clgaz.com 480-240-0040.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Campus Dating Violence and Orders of Protection

During the school season, many college co-eds, and parents of college-age kids, have questions about dating violence on campus. Dating violence is emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or financial abuse (or, sometimes, a combination of these) perpetrated over a sustained period of time in order to gain and/or maintain power and control in a dating relationship.

In an effort to negate dating violence, schools should maintain a robust dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault prevention program for all incoming students and staff, with continuing education for older students throughout their time at the university.

The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group in Scottsdale, AZ. help victims of domestic violence secure legal protection against further abuse, whether on campus or off. If you’re looking to determine your legal options, the family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have extensive knowledge on orders of protection. Here are some quick facts:

  • A victim of domestic abuse means a person protected by the law and shall include any person who has been subjected to domestic abuse by a spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member and where the victim is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor.
  • An order of protection is a court order intended to protect you from further harm from someone who has hurt you; to keep the abuser away from you, or to stop harassing you, or keep the abuser from the scene of the violence, which may include your home, place of work, or apartment. It is a civil order and it does not give the abuser a criminal record. An order of protection can prohibit third parties from constantly texting you or emailing you without consent.
  • If you are a victim of violence, a judge can sign an order that requires the abuser to obey the court. The protective order is very specific in as far as what the abuser can and can’t do, including having no contact in person or by phone, at home, work, or almost anywhere you ask the court to put in the order.

The family law team at Canterbury Law Group will help you and your loved ones stay safe. Call us today to schedule your consultation. 480-240-0040

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