Call for a free consultation: 509-747-1817

Domestic Violence Defense

A Domestic Violence charge can be life-altering.  It is imperative that you have an experienced attorney helping you.  In addition to the criminal charge, the following must be considered in Domestic Violence Defense:

  • CPS involvement (especially when children are witness to the alleged incident)
  • Gun rights
  • Effect on Parenting Plan or Child Custody
  • Employment (current and future)
  • Navigation of No Contact Orders

The consequences of a Domestic Violence charge are far too serious to face without an experienced attorney.  Let us help with your Domestic Violence Defense!  

The Law Office of Jacqueline Porter offers EXPERIENCED Domestic Violence Defense. 

REAL Questions and Answers:

Q: What can i do to make sure my bf doesn't go to jail and to keep his record clean? Should i hire someone?: My bf and I got into an arguement and someone called the cops. Now My bf is being charged w/domestic violence to the 4th degree and violating the peace. I can't exactly remember if I touched him by moving his hair back during our argument or not. He did touch me briefly but not agressivley. There were no bruises or marks. His case was filed and his pre trial is next month. I gave my statement to the police and i am thinking about recanting it. I also started going to counseling recently cuz before this the doctor suggested to go and now i am. Is there a possibly for me to recant my statement without being punished by the law? And should i hire a attoney for him? There is currently a no contact order between us. Or maybe i can plead the 5th and not testify? I don't know which to do

A: Jacqueline’s Answer: You situation is quite common. You boyfriend ABSOLUTELY needs an attorney representing him. This will all come down to what evidence is available. Are there any witnesses aside from you and your boyfriend? Did the police witness any signs of injury on either of you? You can certainly recant your statement, but keep in mind that this happens all the time. You will not get in trouble for recanting, but it will not make your original statements "go away." Strangely, the Fifth Amendment is not available to you in this case, as you are not the one "in jeopardy." In other words, you are not the one facing charges. The most important thing you can do is to hire an attorney for your boyfriend and let that attorney analyze the case and the evidence and make a determination on whether recanting your story will help or harm the situation.

Q: What are my rights when a defendant does not show up to court in a No Contact Order case due to a claim of illness?: I already have a No Contact Order against a family member, and due to indirect threats from this person, I am forced to ask that the order be made permanent. This person has petitioned the judge for a hearing by phone because he claims he is too ill to attend. Can I object? And can I ask the court that he be required to attend?

A: Jacqueline’s answer: I am assuming that this No Contact Order is civil, meaning that it was not issued by the State as part of a criminal charge, but that you sought this protection from the court on your own behalf. Often times, when a private party seeks some type of protection from another private party, the courts will grant the restraints on an emergency basis. When they do this, the court actually issues a temporary order setting out the restraints. This temporary order is only valid for 14 days, as the respondent (the person you are seeking to restrain) has the right to a hearing on the matter before a judge will decide if the order should be issued for a longer period. I am going to assume that the respondent in your case is asking to appear by telephone at this hearing (the hearing where the judge will decide if the more permanent order will be issued). If he is too ill to attend the hearing, he has a couple of options. One option is for him to ask the court to reschedule the hearing to a later date so that he may attend in-person. If he goes this route, the judge will re-issue that temporary order (the one that is only good for 14 days) so that the restraints will remain in place while the new hearing date is pending. His second option is to make arrangements to appear at the hearing by telephone. Each court has local rules that govern how and if he would be able to do this. If the local rules allow it, then he is allowed to appear at the hearing by telephone. I hope this helps!

Q: I got arrested and charged for DV DOP/husband DV assault charges I got a protection order Do I need to hire a criminal attorney: my husband and I got arrested for domestic violence.destruction of property is my charge/assault is his. we both bailed out. I got an order of protection I don't know whether to hire a criminal attorney or get one appointed to m?

A: Jacqueline’s Answer: Without a doubt, you need a criminal defense attorney. So do you hire private counsel or go with a court-appointed attorney? Assuming you qualify for a court-appointed attorney, there are several things to consider. Do you have a job? If so, your time is going to be very important to you. Private counsel can prevent you from leaving work to go to court just to get a new court date. How often would you like to be in contact with your attorney? If you would like to be in close contact with your attorney, then private counsel will better meet your needs. Court-appointed attorneys have extremely high case loads and, therefore, cannot pay close individual attention to each and every client. What about the merits of your case? Were there witnesses that need to be interviewed? What about the responding officers - should they be interviewed? Was any portion of the incident caught on surveillance video that may be helpful to you? Whoever you hire, you want to be sure that they have the time and the resources to turn over every stone in your case.

Q: No contact order lifted on boyfriend: How to get a dv no contact order lifted off my bf that the state put on us. It was dismissed but he was sentenced on the charge and they extended it to 5 years. We wanna work out our problems so need to get I t lifted asap. Please help I can't afford a attorney.

A: Jacqueline’s Answer: It is very common for the protected party of a No Contact Order (NCO) to want the order lifted. You can bring a motion before the court, asking that the order be lifted. Bringing the motion is the easy part. Convincing the judge to lift the order is the hard part. The judge will take many factors into consideration. The judge will consider whether or not your boyfriend has received any domestic violence perpetrator counseling and how he has progressed. If there was alcohol involved in the incident that resulted in the charge, then the judge will want to know what your boyfriend has done to stop using alcohol. The judge will also look at the facts of the incident and the history between the parties as well as any DV history your boyfriend has with other people. Any conditions that were present that contributed to the incident (such as stress, drugs, alcohol, depression, etc) will have to be addressed. The judge will want to know that those conditions are no longer present. I know that it is an enormous imposition to have the government tell you that you cannot be in contact with a loved one, but remember that the judges are accountable to the public for their rulings. It is a judge's worst nightmare to lift an NCO and then have the protected party get hurt or killed. Lifting an NCO is a lot to ask, so be prepared to establish why it is the right decision. The simple fact that you want it lifted is not enough to convince a judge to take such an enormous risk.

Q: I've been charged with 4th degree assault DV.: The case has been set for trial, but my girlfriend has refused to cooperate and won't testify against me. Will the prosecutor dismiss the charges? Can the police report and the statement she made be admitted and used against me even though my girlfriend won't be there in court?

A: Jacqueline’s Answer: DV cases are frequently prosecuted without the cooperation of the alleged victim. At trial it all comes down to evidence. Think of it like a big jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of evidence is a piece of the puzzle. There are going to be some pieces missing, but are there enough pieces that the jury can make out, beyond a reasonable doubt, what the puzzle is a picture of? Are there any witnesses to the alleged incident that will be testifying? Responding officers are not always witnesses, but sometimes they are. The officers can testify as to what they were dispatched to, what they saw when they arrived, and what the defendant told them. If you made any incriminating statements to the officers, those statements will be used. If the officers saw marks, bruises, tipped-over furniture, etc, they will testify to that. It would be up to the jury to put the pieces of the evidence into the puzzle and decide if the evidence creates a clear picture of what happened.

Q: My ex and I both filed harassment against each other. We are divorced. In court we: agreed to dismissal by agreement and order said dismissed, but said parties will not contact each other. Commissioner said if we do then we can bring a civil contempt. However, today I asked and head clerk said case was dismissed I have to start a new harassment. If this happens in one of your cases what is the norm? Also in this case is it harassment to contact ex about seeing my child?

A: Jacqueline’s Answer: This is an example of why it is so important to have an attorney help you from the beginning. A legal action is like baking a cake. If you mess up, there is no way to "fix" it; you must simply start over, and starting over is not allowed in all instances. If the anti-harassment orders were dismissed, then there is no order to violate. Have an attorney look at the order that you are referring to that says that neither party shall contact the other party. If there truly is such an order, then the order may need to be amended for clarity. If there is no order (because the case(s) were dismissed), then you would have to start over with a new petition for an anti-harassment order if that is what you are seeking.

Q:  Help with legal process of Domestic Violence! My significant other was bailed out of jail on Sunday. He was in there for domestic violence assault 4. The last time this happened, was in September. This incident was blown way out of proportion from both sides and we want to fix it. There is a no contact order against him so he cannot contact me. According to his paper that on 11/12/2014 they will figure out if they are going to charge him. Will they contact me like they did last time and ask my opinion? I really don't want to charge him and I don't want this no contact order anymore. We live together and expecting a baby. What can I do to help this get better? I don't want to charge him whatsoever but they also say it's out of your hands so then why ask?

A:  Jacqueline's Answer:   It sounds from your question like this is the second incident? In my experience, the judges (at least in the Spokane area) will sometimes lift a no contact order while a case is pending if there has been a sufficient "cooling off" period. Another factor will be whether or not drugs or alcohol were involved. Either way, an attorney needs to get your significant other into a position where the judge will be as convinced as possible that the factors that were present when the alleged incident occurred are no longer present. However, if this is the second incident, then I agree that is is very unlikely that a judge will lift the no contact order prior to the resolution of the case. Even when the case is resolved, the order may remain in place until he has some counseling under his belt. It is true that it is out of your hands whether he is charged or not, but the right attorney can have a huge effect on how viable those charges are.

Q:  Will a DV case be dismissed if the two parties involved are married and plead the Fifth?  My husband and I were recently in a situation where one of us was arrested for DV4, jailed for a couple days and released with no provisions or supervised release. There's still a no contact order in place that the victim has tried filing to have removed. This was a first offense. The offender had no priors or criminal record. If the victim recants their statement made after the incident and chooses not to testify against their spouse and the offender does the same will the State dismiss the case or pursue it without the victim's statement and testimony? If the State does pursue the case what are the possible outcomes for the offender then; use pictures from the incident of each person's injuries and call self - defense? And what happens if the victim is held in contempt for not testifying?

A:  Jacqueline's Answer:   The State can still pursue a conviction, even if the alleged victim is uncooperative. This is a very common situation. It all comes down to evidence. If the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim are the only two witnesses to the incident, then it will be very hard for the State to prove their case without cooperation and they may opt not to pursue it at all. If there are other witnesses, then those witnesses could be called to present evidence on either party's behalf. Sometimes the responding officers are witnesses and sometimes they aren't. If the responding officers saw injuries on one of the parties when they arrived, then that officer will be able to testify to that. The officer will also be able to testify as to what the alleged perpetrator said to the officer at the scene. Other possible evidence is a CAD report or a 911 call. So the State can certainly try a case without the cooperation of the defendant or alleged victim. The viability of the case all comes down to evidence. 

Q:  I have been served a protection order what kind of paper work do i need to file ? do i need character statements.i need help. on jan.21 2015 my girlfiend went to work and hasn't talked to me sense.on jan.29 2015 i was served a order of protection hearing notice and removed from the house i've been living in for almost 5 yrs.i had to surrender my gun's to the local sheriff dept.THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY KIND OF ABUSE AT ALL. NOT EVEN A REAL ARGUMENT IN 5YRS.I'VE TRIED CONTACTING HER BUT HER DAUGTHERS ARE SCREENING ALL CALLS.I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPEN WE KISSED EACH OTHER THAT MORNING BOTH SAID I LOVE YOU AND OUT THE DOOR SHE WENT.PLEASE HELP ME.

A:  Jacqueline's Answer:   Do NOT try to contact her again while the order is in place, as that is likely violation of the order. (Read the order carefully to determine exactly what you are restrained from doing). You need an attorney to help you draft a sworn response to her Petition for the order and to represent you at the hearing. Your attorney will know how to best present your defense to the judge. If you try to contact her in violation of the order, it will only strengthen HER argument. 

Q:  Is a restraining order void if the plaintiff knowingly moves inside the boundaries of the order?  My nephew has an order against him with his ex girlfriend and she moved next to him into my home. she needed a place to stay at the time. Is the restraining order still valid?

A:  Jacqueline's Answer:   There is a basis to modify the order and tailor it to the new information. Until then, the order is enforceable as-is. If the protected party comes within the protected distance and the retrained party is aware of it, it is the restrained party's responsibility to leave the area. Your nephew can take his chances and hope that nothing comes of this in the meantime, but it may not be worth it. It is a good idea for your nephew to go stay somewhere else until the order is modified (or better yet, can his ex girlfriend go stay somewhere else?)

Q: If the named offender was actually the victim in a domestic violence what is the best defense to pursue?  My husband and I got into a domestic dispute late late at night after he'd been drinking pretty consistently all night with friends and it quickly escalated into a physical altercation after he grabbed me by the shirt and shoved me backwards. I know I shouldn't have fought back but he looked crazed and I was scared. 10-15 mins after he got dressed, blocked my car with his (as I was getting ready to go to a friend's for the night) and called the police. I didn't call because I didn't want him to lose his job. He lied to the police and said he hadn't been drinking and told them I just came in and started attacking him, so I was arrested. Through therapy I've learned he's an alcoholic (binge drinker). He told the court I'm mentally ill and wasn't seeking treatment, which also isn't true.

A:  Jacqueline's Answer:   Please be comforted that it is not at all unheard-of for the person charged with DV Assault to actually be the victim in the scenario. In fact, it is quite common. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to present your case in the manner most likely to bring the facts to light. 

Q: Can you put a restraining order on someone for mental abuse?: I am in a situation where I live with my bf and he is very cruel and mentally abusive but I can't afford to move, he won't move and we are both on the lease. Can I file a restraining order and is he still contractually obligated to pay his portion of rent? He also owes me a lot of money for back bills and wrecked my car. Is this something that I would file in small claims court?

A: Jacqueline’s answer: If you meet the burden, you can get a domestic violence protection order or anti-harassment order. The court will most likely not take any stance at all on who is responsible for the rent while/if he is restrained from the residence. That is a contractual issue that is probably addressed in your residential lease agreement.