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Domestic Violence Legal Services

A man learns that his wife of 20 years has been having an affair with her aerobics instructor. She admits that she has considered leaving him, and if she does, she plans to seek sole custody of their children.  The couple argues and tempers flare.  In anger, the man curses and swipes the glass of water that he had been drinking. It falls to the ground, shattering at both his and his wife's feet. The kids, aged 12 and 9, who were upstairs playing a game, come into the room. Neighbors hear the commotion and call the police.

The man is taken into custody and charged with spousal abuse, vandalism and two counts of child abuse/neglect. He is forced to post a $50,000 bond and an emergency protective order is issued, which prohibits him from returning home and reuniting with his wife or children. He must find another place to live and a way to get his belongings without violating the court order.

Not only is this man facing criminal charges, he is now at a serious disadvantage in any custody proceeding, but he  faces losing his driver's license for a year and discipline with the Department of Real Estate, which could revoke his mortgage broker's license.

The man's wife tries to tell the police that she does not want an emergency protective order, but they issue one anyway. She is told that the case will be referred to the District Attorney's office. She tries calling the DA and writing a letter, insisting that they will go to therapy and she does not want prosecution, but she is told the matter will be prosecuted, nonetheless. When she arrives at court for her husband's arraignment, she is told that a new restraining order will be issued for at least one year. She insists that she doesn't want a protective order, but one is issued against her will.

While this case may sound particularly severe, it is resembles many of the domestic violence or spousal abuse cases Orange County criminal defense lawyers face. In the years since the OJ Simpson trial, California law has gotten much stricter and penalties more severe, even for the most minor behavior.  It is surprising to some that breaking your own property, arguing in front of the children or unplugging the phone from the wall are criminalized.   

Domestic violence or spousal abuse is one area of law where proper legal representation can save you from years of unnecessary classes, having to maintain two households because of a temporary restraining order, losing your job and/or your driver's license.

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