A domestic incident is any incident where the accused and the victim either live together or previously lived together as a family. Usually when people think of domestic incidents they think of a husband and wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend dispute. However, domestic incidents have a broader definition, including sibling or parent and children disputes.
When a person is arrested for a domestic incident, there are unique characteristics to domestic charges. First, domestic charges require that the person arrested be brought before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest for First Appearance to set a bond amount. This is true even if a person is arrested for a misdemeanor domestic battery. In other words, any person arrested for a domestic charge will not be able to bond out of custody until after they are brought before a Judge.
In addition to setting a bond amount at First Appearance, the Judge will determine if there is a No Contact Order in place between the person arrested and the alleged victim. This can happen even if the alleged victim wants to contact the person that was arrested. As long as the No Contact Order is in place the person arrested and the alleged victim cannot have any contact directly, indirectly, or through a third party. If the person arrested and the alleged victim live together, the person arrested will have to find another place to stay while the No Contact Order is in place.
If a No Contact Order is violated the consequences can be drastic. It is a violation of the No Contact Order even if the alleged victim initiates contact with the person arrested. Each violation of the No Contact Order by the arrested person can result in a new criminal charge. Additionally, the bond in the original domestic incident can be revoked. Meaning that the person arrested can be taken back into the custody of the jail for violating the No Contact Order. Either modifying or rescinding the No Contact Order in a domestic case can be essential.
In many domestic cases the alleged victim wants the criminal case to be dropped due to the personal relationship between the victim and the person arrested. Since this is extremely common, these cases are handled by a special unit in the prosecutors' office that only deal with domestic cases. They are used to handling cases where the alleged victim states that they want the criminal domestic case dropped. It can be critical to hire a skilled attorney with experience in handling domestic cases to ensure that the case gets dropped.
Contact us if you or a loved one have been accused of a domestic crime.