Perhaps you have the misfortune of finding yourself in Domestic Violence (“DV”) Court. You need a Domestic Violence Court lawyer in New York City.
Domestic Violence Court adjudicates criminal offenses allegedly committed against members of the same family or household.
Everyone in Domestic Violence Court – the judge, the prosecutors, the clerks and all other court staff – deal with domestic violence cases all day, every day. Perhaps as a result, Domestic Violence Court tends to institutionalize society’s bias and hostility against people accused of domestic violence offenses. While creating a favorable environment for complainants, Domestic Violence Court tends to apply a weaker presumption of innocence than other parts of the criminal court system.
A perfect example is the routine issuance of temporary orders of protection. Such orders, based on nothing more than bare allegations, will often result in a defendant being completely excluded from the home, without benefit of a hearing to challenge the allegations. Some Domestic Violence Courts refuse to modify temporary orders of protection until the case is over, regardless if the defendant is innocent; regardless if the complainant wants the defendant back home; regardless if the complainant admits having lied. The defendant is presumed to be a violent threat to the complainant from the moment of arrest until the case is over.
Domestic Violence Courts are fully aware that domestic violence allegations routinely arise in dysfunctional relationships; that many complainants manipulate the system to gain an advantage in divorce, child-support or custody proceedings; that some complainants make false domestic violence allegations motivated by anger, jealousy and retaliation. However, Courts treat these situations as rare exceptions, knowing but never acknowledging that such situations are far from rare.
You need a lawyer to push back hard against the institutionalized bias you will encounter in Domestic Violence Court. Otherwise, you won’t stand a chance.