The TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) Where Family Law Crosses Over in Criminal Law

Posted By Bill Nimmo & Raymond Gomez, Attorneys at Law || 4-Apr-2014

You are already going through a divorce. You're dealing with child custody, support payments, selling the house, hiring lawyers, getting property appraisal, etc.., etc. Suddenly you are served with Restraining Order papers. Those TRO papers allege "under oath," that you struck, threatened, bothered, or you annoyed your ex-spouse to be. The papers may recite a whole array of acts that makes your spouse feel that you are a danger to him/her and the kids and that they need to be protected from you.

Restraining Orders in San Diego Domestic Violence Cases

Overnight, you have gone from a civil case to a "quasi-criminal" action and you are looking at serious, immediate, and life-changing consequences. You have been ordered out of the house, prohibited from contacting your spouse or your children, you have been ordered to surrender any of your firearms, and you have been given certain orders as to what you can and cannot do with your joint possessions. If you violate these temporary orders, you may be sent to jail and be found in contempt of court.

False Allegations of Domestic Violence

This is where a Vista criminal lawyer may be brought into your case by your family lawyer. Criminal attorneys regularly defend persons against false and exaggerated accusations and they are accustomed to cross examining witnesses to expose those credibility issues. A good criminal defense lawyer is trained and experienced in finding the little cues that say the witness is lying or exaggerating and they know how to bring those points to light so a Judge can see what is really going on in the situation. It is commonly believed that custody and divorce cases are where a number of blatant false and exaggerated accusations occur.

People who are under stress make up all kinds of things to get what they want, whether it be property, custody, or freedom from having to deal with someone they no longer want in their lives. Social science research shows that a healthy percentage of child molestation accusations come from custody situations involving step-parents. In a stressful situation, it seems that people will stop at nothing when they get mad and want to get even or get some advantage. Based up observation, even more of the garden variety false and exaggerated accusations of abuse, threats, intimidation, and harassment come out of cases of divorce and custody.

Sometimes the fear of having the matter litigated by a tough cross examiner will get it settled so that contact orders can be fashioned that will accommodate you as well as your spouse. The key is that a good domestic violence attorney, by virtue of their true courtroom drama experience, will be able to take the defense to another level. Although competent and experienced, most family lawyers don't get that constant experience taking on a witness and taking their testimony apart right before the eyes of the judge. It is serious combat and requires a lot of trial experience.

So you might find your family lawyer recommending that you bring on a Vista criminal defense lawyer to handle the defense of the TRO. It is a wise move and allows the family lawyer to concentrate on the other, more enduring, matters in your divorce and custody case. Hopefully, it will be money well spent.

Categories: Criminal Defense